Long-term vs. short-term lottery incentives to promote physical activity

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Providing long-term lottery incentives next to short term lottery incentives have proven to be helpful in creating habit formation and improve goal attainment when it comes to physical activity. This follow-up study examined the effectiveness of long-term lottery rewards next to short-term lottery rewards in a real world setting. Furthermore, the influence of socio-economic status (SES) on the effectiveness of lottery rewards was investigated. This was done in cooperation with health insurer Menzis, who carried out an experiment where users of the health-app SamenGezond have to complete weekly goals to stimulate physical activity and be able to partake in the lotteries. Users were randomly assigned to either the monthly lottery group (short-term) or monthly + quarterly lottery group (long-term). The amount of completed weekly goals was taken as the dependent variable and the effects are analysed using a generalized linear model (GLM) with Poisson distribution. Results show that lower-SES groups are more sensitive to long-term lottery incentives than only short-term incentives. This effect was not found for other SES groups. Therefore providing a long-term lottery reward next to a short-term lottery reward can help in decreasing health-inequalities. Lastly, no significant effects were found for email-prompts and the interaction with self-control.
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