Latest
issue
GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window I've already subscribed!
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Research round-up: Cash back

As little as £3 can make people 50 per cent more likely to change their behaviour, according to research from Newcastle University

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 6

Earlier this year, research firm Mintel revealed that 30 per cent of people in the UK admit to rarely or never taking part in sport or exercise. In the survey, 24 per cent of Brits said they struggled to motivate themselves to exercise on their own, while the top reason for not using a leisure centre or swimming pool was cost. However, another piece of research – this time by Newcastle University in the UK – has suggested that things could change if people were offered a financial reward.

The university focused on 16 previous studies in which people had been given incentives to improve their health in some way, such as by taking up physical activity, quitting smoking or attending vaccination/disease screening sessions. The studies involved a total of more than 30,000 participants, and the university says its research is the broadest look to date at the impact of incentives.

Money motivation
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE*, was funded by the National Institute of Health Research with a view to finding out how the NHS might save money in the long run.

Overall, financial incentives ranged from £3 (US$5.16) for having a flu vaccination to £467 (US$786) for taking part in an employee scheme to give up smoking for a year. Yet the team found that even in the flu vaccination study, where the reward was just £3, people were 50 per cent more likely to change their behaviour. In fact, it discovered that larger incentives were no more effective than smaller monetary rewards in influencing people’s behaviour.

Financial penalties for not succeeding in the task were also found to work. In these studies, participants had to hand over a set amount of money which they knew they wouldn’t get back if they didn’t fulfil the health behaviour requirements.

Surprise findings
Dr Emma Giles, a research associate at Newcastle University and lead author, comments: “This was an interesting finding and we were surprised at just how strong the effect was. People who took part in these reward or penalty schemes were much more likely to adopt healthy behaviours, and if they continued, they would have more chance of remaining healthy for longer.”

She adds: “Many studies used vouchers for supermarkets or similar things rather than actual cash. This might be a more acceptable way of implementing this.”

Dr Jean Adams, a senior lecturer in public health at Newcastle University, comments: “We were surprised how few studies we found which had looked at the impact financial incentives can have. But at this stage, we don’t know the right level that incentives should be at, so it’s not clear if this sort of scheme would save the NHS and country money.”

In addition, the team says it’s not clear whether the effect continues in the long term, after the rewards have stopped. It’s also not clear from the current research whether there’s a bigger impact in certain socioeconomic groups. Both of these areas were highlighted as possible variables to investigate further.

But as Adams concludes: “We try all kinds of techniques to try to help people quit smoking or otherwise live healthy lives, so why not try this? It’s about nudging people into healthier behaviours. There’s a chance this could save the taxpayer money in the long run.”

*Giles, E, et al. The Effectiveness of Financial Incentives for Health Behaviour Change: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLOS ONE. March 2014

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Using the MobilePro app to access and book swimming classes is very popular
Using the MobilePro app to access and book swimming classes is very popular
Customers can now book, change or cancel gym classes on the go
Customers can now book, change or cancel gym classes on the go
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2014_6cashback.jpg
As little as £3 is enough incentive for 50 per cent of people to change their behaviour, says a team from Newcastle University in the UK
Katie Barnes,Research, incentive, behaviour change, Newcastle University
HCM magazine
The goal is for all new centres to be Net Zero. Sustainability is something we’re investing heavily in across the business
HCM magazine
Egym has announced deals designed to position it for growth acceleration, as Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
HCM People

Dr Jonathan Leary

Founder, Remedy Place
It was as though the whole world woke up at the same time
HCM magazine
Will Orr has been talking to HCM about the company’s new strategy for 2024, as Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
As health club operators move to incorporate recovery into their offerings to meet growing consumer demand, Steph Eaves takes a look at what cryotherapy and ice bathing can add to the equation
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The partnership between PureGym and Belfast-based supplier BLK BOX is transforming the gym floor
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Francesca Cooper-Boden says health assessment services can boost health club retention
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
The New Keiser M3i Studio Bike brings ride data to life to engage and delight members
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
University of Sheffield Sport has opened the doors of its flagship Goodwin Sports Centre following a major refurbishment
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
D2F had updated its brand styling to keep pace with business growth. MD, John Lofting and operations director, Matt Aynsley, explain the rationale
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
GymNation is pioneering the future of fitness with software specialist Perfect Gym providing a scalable tech platform to power and sustain its growth
HCM promotional features
Latest News
With the launch of its 49th John Reed, RSG Group is looking for more opportunities ...
Latest News
PureGym saw revenues rise by 15 per cent in 2023, with the company announcing plans ...
Latest News
Following three disrupted lockdown years, the European fitness market bounced back in 2023, according to ...
Latest News
Charitable trust, Mytime Active, has removed all single-use plastic overshoes from its swimming pools and ...
Latest News
Community Leisure UK is helping the drive to Net Zero with the launch of a ...
Latest News
Operator Circadian Trust has launched a five-year growth drive designed to support health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Norwegian health club operator, Treningshelse Holding, which owns the Aktiv365 and Family Sports Club fitness ...
Latest News
The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany, ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Study Active acquires Premier Global name and select branding assets
Study Active has legally acquired the name “Premier Global” and select Premier Global branding assets from Assessment Technologies Institute LLC, part of Ascend Learning in the US.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Company profiles
Company profile: IndigoFitness
At IndigoFitness, we're not just about providing equipment; we're about delivering exceptional training spaces. We ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Balanced Body press release: New Balanced Body Education® For Fitness Instructors endorsed by Active IQ
Balanced Body ®, global leaders in Pilates equipment and education, have received Active IQ endorsement for its newly launched professional education programme specifically designed to upskill fitness instructors with a Group Reformer Pilates certification in direct response to global market demand.
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: Better’s One NK leisure centre wellbeing event a wondrous success!
Last week saw the launch of a new ‘Health Hub’ at Better’s One NK leisure centre in North Hykeham.
Directory
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Research round-up: Cash back

As little as £3 can make people 50 per cent more likely to change their behaviour, according to research from Newcastle University

By Katie Barnes, Spa Business | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 6

Earlier this year, research firm Mintel revealed that 30 per cent of people in the UK admit to rarely or never taking part in sport or exercise. In the survey, 24 per cent of Brits said they struggled to motivate themselves to exercise on their own, while the top reason for not using a leisure centre or swimming pool was cost. However, another piece of research – this time by Newcastle University in the UK – has suggested that things could change if people were offered a financial reward.

The university focused on 16 previous studies in which people had been given incentives to improve their health in some way, such as by taking up physical activity, quitting smoking or attending vaccination/disease screening sessions. The studies involved a total of more than 30,000 participants, and the university says its research is the broadest look to date at the impact of incentives.

Money motivation
The research, published in the journal PLOS ONE*, was funded by the National Institute of Health Research with a view to finding out how the NHS might save money in the long run.

Overall, financial incentives ranged from £3 (US$5.16) for having a flu vaccination to £467 (US$786) for taking part in an employee scheme to give up smoking for a year. Yet the team found that even in the flu vaccination study, where the reward was just £3, people were 50 per cent more likely to change their behaviour. In fact, it discovered that larger incentives were no more effective than smaller monetary rewards in influencing people’s behaviour.

Financial penalties for not succeeding in the task were also found to work. In these studies, participants had to hand over a set amount of money which they knew they wouldn’t get back if they didn’t fulfil the health behaviour requirements.

Surprise findings
Dr Emma Giles, a research associate at Newcastle University and lead author, comments: “This was an interesting finding and we were surprised at just how strong the effect was. People who took part in these reward or penalty schemes were much more likely to adopt healthy behaviours, and if they continued, they would have more chance of remaining healthy for longer.”

She adds: “Many studies used vouchers for supermarkets or similar things rather than actual cash. This might be a more acceptable way of implementing this.”

Dr Jean Adams, a senior lecturer in public health at Newcastle University, comments: “We were surprised how few studies we found which had looked at the impact financial incentives can have. But at this stage, we don’t know the right level that incentives should be at, so it’s not clear if this sort of scheme would save the NHS and country money.”

In addition, the team says it’s not clear whether the effect continues in the long term, after the rewards have stopped. It’s also not clear from the current research whether there’s a bigger impact in certain socioeconomic groups. Both of these areas were highlighted as possible variables to investigate further.

But as Adams concludes: “We try all kinds of techniques to try to help people quit smoking or otherwise live healthy lives, so why not try this? It’s about nudging people into healthier behaviours. There’s a chance this could save the taxpayer money in the long run.”

*Giles, E, et al. The Effectiveness of Financial Incentives for Health Behaviour Change: Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. PLOS ONE. March 2014

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Using the MobilePro app to access and book swimming classes is very popular
Using the MobilePro app to access and book swimming classes is very popular
Customers can now book, change or cancel gym classes on the go
Customers can now book, change or cancel gym classes on the go
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2014_6cashback.jpg
As little as £3 is enough incentive for 50 per cent of people to change their behaviour, says a team from Newcastle University in the UK
Katie Barnes,Research, incentive, behaviour change, Newcastle University
Latest News
With the launch of its 49th John Reed, RSG Group is looking for more opportunities ...
Latest News
PureGym saw revenues rise by 15 per cent in 2023, with the company announcing plans ...
Latest News
Following three disrupted lockdown years, the European fitness market bounced back in 2023, according to ...
Latest News
Charitable trust, Mytime Active, has removed all single-use plastic overshoes from its swimming pools and ...
Latest News
Community Leisure UK is helping the drive to Net Zero with the launch of a ...
Latest News
Operator Circadian Trust has launched a five-year growth drive designed to support health and wellbeing ...
Latest News
Norwegian health club operator, Treningshelse Holding, which owns the Aktiv365 and Family Sports Club fitness ...
Latest News
The HCM team were busy at the recent FIBO Global Fitness event in Cologne, Germany, ...
Latest News
Atlanta-based boutique fitness software company, Xplor Mariana Tek, has kicked off a push for international ...
Latest News
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) has released new data on the US’ wellness economy, valuing ...
Latest News
The fitness sector’s pivot to active wellbeing is being discussed in a new weekly podcast, ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Study Active acquires Premier Global name and select branding assets
Study Active has legally acquired the name “Premier Global” and select Premier Global branding assets from Assessment Technologies Institute LLC, part of Ascend Learning in the US.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Webinar: Building a new energy future for the leisure sector
As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
Company profiles
Company profile: IndigoFitness
At IndigoFitness, we're not just about providing equipment; we're about delivering exceptional training spaces. We ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Life Fitness
The Life Fitness family of brands offers an unrivalled product portfolio, providing customers with access ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Balanced Body press release: New Balanced Body Education® For Fitness Instructors endorsed by Active IQ
Balanced Body ®, global leaders in Pilates equipment and education, have received Active IQ endorsement for its newly launched professional education programme specifically designed to upskill fitness instructors with a Group Reformer Pilates certification in direct response to global market demand.
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: Better’s One NK leisure centre wellbeing event a wondrous success!
Last week saw the launch of a new ‘Health Hub’ at Better’s One NK leisure centre in North Hykeham.
Directory
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
Raffles City Convention Centre, Singapore, Singapore
Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym
Partner sites