The concept is simple. Gym-Pact uses its site as a motivational tool to help get people who pay gym memberships to actually use it. The concept of GymPact came from a Harvard behavioral economics class, and their pilot in Boston had a 90% success at getting people to the gym when they committed.
Via a free downloadable app, Gym-Pact lets you set the financial stakes of not getting to the gym, plus earn cash rewards and real prizes for fulfilling your Pact. All you need is an iPhone. In order to make money from this venture, you have to sign up and meet or exceed your commitment to going to the the gym.
As for getting paid to stay healthy, each Sunday night, the company calculates how much was paid by those who didn’t get to the gym that week. The money is then divided among those who made their Pact, based on the number of days committed (i.e. 3 days Pact = 3 portions).
Do I think this is type of tool can make a difference in motivating people to work out. Yes, I do.
It reminds me of a story I heard last week, of a family member who joked that they might be thebest customer for a Los Angeles based gym.
This unnamed family member has been paying her gym membership for years and never goes. I do think this grand mother would get there more often if she knew she might be losing more money but not going.
As for company co-founders and Harvard classmates Yifan Zhang and Geoff Oberhofer, If they practice what they preach, this dynamic duo is either very healthy or proceeds from their company will help pay for their lack of exercise.