30 scientists from 15 universities set out to motivate 61,000 people to go to the gym. It worked — but with one big caveat

30 scientists from 15 universities set out to motivate 61,000 people to go to the gym. It worked — but with one big caveat

Don’t feel like going to the gym today? Try a fiscal stimulus.

Thirty scientists from 15 U.S. universities oversaw the physical exercise regime of 61,293 members of a U.S. fitness chain. Collaborating in small independent teams, they designed 54 different online fitness programs over four weeks.

They wanted the participants to up their game, and the one way to figure out how best to do that? Create a “megastudy” to keep as many variables as constant as possible, and apply the same standards to every person, except for the incentive.

The results of this massive study were published in the latest issue of the peer-reviewed journal Nature. In previous studies, forecasts by impartial judges failed to predict which interventions would be most effective, the paper concluded.

“The scientists found that 45% of their interventions significantly increased weekly gym visits by 9% to 27%.”

“Different scientists…

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