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Research

Way to Walk 2

Evidence from behavioral economics suggests that people have short time horizons and difficulty trading off immediate gratification for delayed health benefits. Little is known, however, about whether financial incentives can be effective in encouraging higher levels of physical activity among older adults, particularly when they are in the form of social goals. The goal of this pilot randomized controlled trial is to test whether a financial incentive of a donation to achieve a social goal is more effective to motivate and sustain a daily walking habit than the same dollar value given to an older adult. We will achieve this using a novel computer platform (Way to Health) with a digital pedometer-internet interface. Adults 65+ residing in a large retirement community will be recruited to participate in this research study. This technology will permit the wide dissemination of this intervention to promote a health habit with benefits to a wide range of older adults. The proposed study pursues a new way of looking at an old problem and is highly likely to generate evidence that is scalable and to achieve changes that are sustainable.

The Center for Health Incentives and Behavioral Economics at the Leonard Davis Insitute of Health Economics

Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Pioneer Grants

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