Creating Exercise Habits Using Incentives: The Trade-off Between Flexibility and Routinization

  title={Creating Exercise Habits Using Incentives: The Trade-off Between Flexibility and Routinization},
  author={John Beshears and Hae Nim Lee and Katherine L. Milkman and Robert Mislavsky and Jessica Wisdom},
  journal={Management science},
  volume={67 7},
Habits involve regular, cue-triggered routines. In a field experiment, we tested whether incentivizing exercise routines-paying participants each time they visit the gym within a planned, daily two-hour window-leads to more persistent exercise than offering flexible incentives-paying participants each day they visit the gym, regardless of timing. Routine incentives generated fewer gym visits than flexible incentives, both during our intervention and after incentives were removed. Even among sub… 

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