GymPact was an app that was released in 2012 with a great amount of buzz. The app monitors your visits to the gym, exercises, and meals as part of a wager. You promise a certain threshold of healthy behaviors and are paid accordingly. If you do not meet the conditions from your pact, you are then charged money. The concept centered around negative reinforcement – i.e., engaging in a behavior to avoid a negative outcome – to motivate users toward healthy behaviors. Some facts:
App activity: Each Sunday, you needed to go in to update your wager if you planned to workout more/less than the previous week. Each time you visited the gym or exercised at home, you had to check in and exercise for at least 30 minutes before checking out.
The minimum you could wager to lose for missing a workout was $5, while the most you could earn for meeting your pact was 20-50. (Penalty was much higher than reward.)
If you exercised more times than the pact you set, you did not receive any credit for the additional gym visits.
The app collected money at the end of each week for the times people did not complete their goal – including when workouts weren’t tracked by the app – but the app did not always pay the money earned for meeting one’s goal.
Exercises could be measured by compatibility with other apps, like FitBit and Jawbone Up, using a motion sensor in the iPhone. At the time, Android phones did not have motion trackers, and the use of that technology required Android users to purchase a motion sensor.
Now, read the following article which posits that wearable devices won’t drive behavior change: BehaviorChangeArticle.pdf. What are the good and bad features of GymPact based on what you’ve read about health behaviors? What are the reasons why GymPact was an unsuccessful app? Please respond in 350-450 words.