Personalized Goals, Cash Motivate Heart Patients to Exercise

Loss-framed financial incentives, goal setting help increase daily step counts.
Loss-framed financial incentives, goal setting help increase daily step counts.

HealthDay News — Personalized goals, combined with financial incentives, motivate heart patients to increase their exercise, according to a study published online June 13 in the Journal of the American Heart Association.

Neel P. Chokshi, MD, from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, and colleagues conducted a 24-week home-based, remotely monitored, randomized trial in which ischemic heart disease patients used wearable devices to track step counts (control) or received personalized step goals and daily feedback for all 24 weeks. The intervention arm also received virtual financial incentives based on achieving step goals. 

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The researchers found that patients in the incentive arm had a significantly greater increase in mean daily steps from baseline during the ramp-up (P<.01), maintenance (P<.001), and follow-up (P<.01) phases.

"Loss-framed financial incentives with personalized goal setting significantly increased physical activity among ischemic heart disease patients," the authors write.

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