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Activity incentive programs

Activity incentive programs


To promote active lifestyles through the provision of physical activity incentive programs.


The health benefits of physical activity are numerous, from reduced risk of chronic diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes, to better mental health and increased quality of life. In addition, relatively small amounts of activity can lead to significant benefits: just 2.5 hours of moderate-intensity physical activity per week can reduce overall mortality risk by nearly 20%. Research shows that even small incentives can significantly influence individual decisions and behaviors towards physical activity. However, the effectiveness of varying types of incentives (e.g., monetary, non-monetary), their distribution schedule, their magnitude, and their relationship to specific types of activity engagement remain largely unknown. In addition, implementation of physical activity incentives for different populations and geographic regions adds an additional layer of complexity in prescribing and implementing effective incentive programs. Therefore, projects play a fundamental role in defining and creating incentive programs that are meaningful to their project population and aim to help develop and maintain regular exercise and physical activity behaviors.

Part 1
Activity Incentive Programs

At least two of the following are implemented for all full-time employees:
Tax-exempt payroll deductions relating to active transportation (e.g., a subsidy to purchase a personal bicycle) or mass transit (includes public transportation) use. Direct subsidies of an equivalent amount are also acceptable.
Meaningful reimbursements or incentive payments (including non-monetary) offered for every 6-month period that an employee meets a 50-visit minimum to a gym or physical activity program.
A meaningful subsidy offered at least yearly towards participation or membership costs for fitness activities such as races, group fitness classes, sports teams, fitness centers, training centers, gyms, or studios. Direct subsidies of an equivalent amount are also acceptable.
A meaningful subsidy offered at least yearly towards the cost of an annual bicycle share membership.
No cost or discounted physical activity opportunities or memberships, in which it can be demonstrated that 30% of occupants have utilized on a regular basis (at least weekly) over the last six months.

Part 2
Sedentary Behavior Reduction

An incentive program in early education and primary schools is developed with parental support for participation in challenges targeting time spent on at least one of the following:
Recreational computer or smartphone use.
Video gaming.
Other recreational screen-based, sedentary behaviors.