I regret to inform you that the day has come in which health insurance companies are paying people to walk. Paying. People. To. Walk. Arrrggggggghhhhhh, my head is exploding.
Co.Exist has the story:
Oscar Insurance, a New York-based startup, now sends members a free Misfit wristband to track their steps, and whenever someone reaches a daily goal for a certain number of steps, the company pays them.
“We were fascinated with the U.S. Surgeon General’s recommendation that if you walk around 10,000 steps a day, you will have a real impact on almost all the top killers in the U.S., like obesity, diabetes, and high blood pressure,” says Mario Schlosser, co-founder of Oscar Insurance. “If you just get a bit more physically active, you can avoid those conditions getting worse, or make them better.”
Members of the insurance plan download an app, and then get a wristband in the mail that automatically syncs up as soon as someone puts it on. Each day, someone can earn a dollar for reaching their goal, and at the end of the month, Oscar Insurance sends them a $20 Amazon gift card.
By some estimates, 10,000 steps is close to five miles. Oscar Insurance starts most walkers off with a 2,000 step per day goal, or about one mile of walking. After monitoring their activity, they gradually bump up step goals from there. Walkers who don’t reach their goals don’t get paid.
The company’s motives are undeniably noble and smart (lower blood pressure, for the win!) — it’s just that taking a carrot-and-stick approach with cash or an Amazon gift card to get people off the couch is kind of the saddest. But hey, if it works, it works.
In the meantime, for all those walkers out there who want to spice up their routines (and up their chances of winning more loot) there’s always high-cardio Prancercise or the tantalizing world of competitive race walking. Lace up dem sneaks, folks!