BPS Review

As the year draws to a close and the temperature drops, finding motivation to still hit the gym can be difficult. Opting for the hoodie over the swimwear can mean you skip one class, then another, until the month goes by and you forget you even had a membership! But don’t worry, guest blogger Juliet Hodges for the BPS knows how to get you back on track.

Hodges comments that lack of physical activity in the UK is an issue, as only 5% of adults got the recommended weekly amount when movement was measured with an accelerometer, so you’re not alone if you aren’t as active as you should be.

It seems that promoting the benefits of exercise such as improved mental and physical health is not enough to get us all exercising. So, a new study in the Journal of Behavioural and Experimental Economics looked at how a financial incentive, the chance to win an $80 Amazon voucher, could increase gym attendance. Participants were either on their own or partnered up, and only half of the participants were allowed to know whether or not other individuals or teams had reached the target yet. The other half of individuals and teams were unaware.

For all students taking part, gym attendance increased during the study, suggesting the financial incentive was working. The students who increased their gym visits the most (up to three times more often than before the study) were those who were partnered up, also suggesting the importance of having a work out buddy.

To find out what happened as their behaviour was monitored after the study, and whether or not there were any long term impacts, follow this link https://digest.bps.org.uk/2017/10/16/find-a-gym-buddy-not-letting-them-down-may-be-the-most-powerful-incentive-to-get-exercising/

In the meantime, go with a friend and keep each other motivated!

Jessica Bishop, Stage 2 

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