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Lottery Incentives for Moving

This study has been completed.
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Michael Norton, Harvard University Identifier:
First received: January 18, 2011
Last updated: March 15, 2012
Last verified: March 2012

The purpose of the study is to learn more about effective ways to motivate people to increase their non-exercise energy expenditure exercise. This is an important research question because obesity and weight-related issues are increasingly becoming a problem in America. This project will address this research question by testing the effect of two different incentive schemes in motivating employees who are predominantly sedentary to use Walkstations at work. The Walkstations are treadmills that move at a very slow rate (maximum 2miles / hour) and are attached to a work station (i.e. with computer and telephone); they therefore are designed to increase energy spent not through heavy exercise, but through small changes in posture and movement associated with routines in daily life (called nonexercise activity thermogenesis or NEAT).

Subjects will be employees of Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts (BCBSMA). Subjects will be the control participants from the previous Walkstation study we ran with BCBSMA. All 120 control participants from this previous study will be told that they can now participate in a study that involves the Walkstations (up until now, they have not been given access to the Walkstations). These participants from the previous study will be sent an email informing them that they are eligible to participate in this new Walkstation pilot. Those who are interested in participating will then be invited to sign up for an enrollment session. There will be no incentives for participating in the initial enrollment session. For the 2 month follow-up session, participants will have a chance to win 1 of 3 prizes (1 * $100, 2 * $50) for completing the follow-up.

Condition Intervention
Sedentary Lifestyle
Behavioral: Incentive to exercise

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Single Blind (Participant)
Primary Purpose: Basic Science

Further study details as provided by Harvard University:

Primary Outcome Measures:
  • Walkstation usage [ Time Frame: after approx 60 days ]

Secondary Outcome Measures:
  • Biometric measures [ Time Frame: baseline and 60 days ]
    Height, weight, blood pressure

  • Questionnaire [ Time Frame: baseline and 45 days ]

Enrollment: 212
Study Start Date: March 2011
Study Completion Date: August 2011
Primary Completion Date: May 2011 (Final data collection date for primary outcome measure)
Arms Assigned Interventions
Active Comparator: Personal incentive
If participants attain their walkstation usage goal, they are entered into bi-weekly lotteries to win money.
Behavioral: Incentive to exercise
Participants who attain their walkstation goal will be entered into a draw every two weeks. We are testing the effect of different prizes on walkstation usage.
Active Comparator: Token incentive
Participants who attain their walkstation usage goal will be entered into a bi-weekly prize to win a token reward.
Behavioral: Incentive to exercise
Participants who attain their walkstation goal will be entered into a draw every two weeks. We are testing the effect of different prizes on walkstation usage.


Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 65 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • must pass ParQ

Exclusion Criteria:

  • if fail ParQ
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT01278654

United States, Massachusetts
Blue Cross Blue Shield Massachusetts
Boston, Massachusetts, United States, 02215
Sponsors and Collaborators
Harvard University
  More Information

Responsible Party: Michael Norton, Associate Professor, Harvard University Identifier: NCT01278654     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: Walkstation2
Study First Received: January 18, 2011
Last Updated: March 15, 2012 processed this record on May 22, 2017