At least this is the premise that Nexercise is built upon, a free iPhone app that tracks activities ranging from running and weightlifting to fencing and polo and rewards users with free and discounted merchandise in the hopes that users will adopt long-term exercise habits.
You get points in the game for healthy behaviors.”
Exercising with a friend or on a rainy day, for instance, allows users to accumulate bonus points.
If you exercise with someone, you’re more likely to continue to exercise.” said Young.
Users with more points have greater chances of winning prizes, and those that have reached higher levels have access to more valuable prizes.
According to Young, the chances of winning a prize at the lowest level are about 25 percent, with prizes ranging from $5 gift cards and coupons for items such as energy bars, up to $250 gift cards.
Having recently completed an experimental run at theUniversityofMaryland, the app is still quite new and has some kinks.
It has been criticized for the quality of its rewards, which Young said have improved with its recent integration with Kiip, and will continually improve as the app matures.
Other upcoming plans for the app include a contextual notification system to increase engagement. Other popular fitness apps include Runkeeper and Nike+, which count calories and map trails, but do not provide prizes as incentives.
Nexercise is available worldwide on the App Store.
New iPhone App offers Rewards for Exercising