You can get paid to get fit thanks to a host of behavioral finance apps that allow you to wager on your weight loss or exercise journey, and some that will pay you to track your steps.

To be sure, you’ll need to put up some of your own money with the betting apps. You essentially ante up to bet on yourself. But, if you do your job — meeting the goals that you set — you’ll get that money back. And, possibly, a lot more. Some participants walk away with thousands of dollars.

The apps that have you track your steps, meanwhile, don’t pay much. But, many people maintain it’s enough to keep them motivated. So, if greater fitness is your goal, all of these apps may be worth a try.

In anticipation of bathing suit season, we look at three “bet-on-your-fitness” apps, as well as two that pay you to track your exercise. Here’s how they work, what they promise, and what they pay.


If you’re hoping to score big with a get-paid-to-get-fit bet, the top choice is a site called HealthyWage. This site’s signature challenge — the HealthyWager — boasts a top prize of $10,000.

To be sure, your chance of a $10,000 payday is remote. That’s because the pot is split among all winners and somewhere between 40% and 77% of the people who use this site manage to win by losing the requisite weight. Of course, if you’ve come here to lose weight, that’s a win too.

There are roughly five ways to participate here — corporate challenges, group challenges, step bets, jackpot challenges or a “HealthyWager.” The rules with corporate and group challenges vary based on the groups involved. However, the rules for each of the other three challenges are fairly standard.

Jackpot challenges spell out the goals, cost, and timeline upfront. A one-month challenge, for instance, might involve a $100 ante, and demand that you lose at least 4% of your body weight to win. A three-month challenge might cost $25 a month ($75 total) and require that you lose 3% of your body weight. The value of the pot is known upfront. However, your payout will depend on how many people win.

Step challenges also vary in duration, “bet” (i.e. cost to join) and pot. However, these all have the same goal — increase your median daily activity by 25%.

Finally, the site’s signature bet — the HealthyWager — involves losing at least 10% of your body weight over a 6 month or more period.

Notably, the site normally takes a 25% commission on bets. But, it has a no-lose guarantee for those who win by losing the promised weight. If more than 75% of participants win, HealthyWage will waive its fees to make sure that everyone gets their money back.


DietBet operates in much the same way.

There are multiple ways to play. You can create your own bet. You can join a short-term weight-loss bet, which last one month. Or you can join a long-term weight-loss bet, which last six months or more. You can also participate in a bet that involves simply maintaining your current weight.

And the amount you need to put up to participate in a DietBet is fairly modest. Wagers can be anything over $10. And the weight-loss goal can be as little as 4% of your body weight. However, longer-term contests have a 10% weight-loss threshold.

However, in all cases, you must place a wager — i.e. ante up a set amount of money — to get started. The amount of the wager depends on the game.

Like HealthyWage, DietBet subtracts fees from the pot before winners split the rest.

Why is this site not quite as attractive to people who want to get paid to get fit? Because the site says that 96% of participants win their bets, which means the pot is split too thinly to make much money on any given bet.

Additionally, while this site also promises that every winner will get their money back, there’s a caveat with the longer-term challenges. With these, you only get the site’s “no-lose guarantee” if you participate in the “optional” monthly weigh ins and meet each monthly weight loss goal.


StepBet works a bit like HealthyWage’s step challenges.

If you want to play, you’ll need to connect an activity tracker to the app. The activity tracker could be on your iPhone or Android device, or could be a iWatch, Fitbit, S Gear or Garmin tracker. This app does not work with all fitness trackers, though, so check to see if your device is compatible before you sign up.

StepBet will use your fitness trackers historic data to calculate your average movement and create two ambitious goals for you to meet. One is an “active” goal that will be a step-up from your normal activity. The second “power” goal presents a bigger challenge. Your mission is to meet a set number of “active” and “power” days each week.

You bet on yourself at the start of the contest (usually 6 weeks). And, if you meet your goals throughout the contest, you split the pot (minus site fees) with the other winners.

If you use the app’s free version, you can participate in just one contest at a time. However, if you upgrade to a paid membership, you can participate in several bets simultaneously.

The catch? The site doesn’t say how its step formula works, so unlike HealthyWage’s simple 25% step-up in typical activity, you aren’t necessarily going to know what’s required until you’re engaged in a contest.

Worse, the site has been having technical problems that have locked some users out of the system. And, in some cases, the app stopped recording their steps. Customer service appears missing in action, until users write bad reviews. At that point, the site appears to resolve the issues by either reconnecting the customer to contest or allowing the customer to start over.

Get paid to get fit

What if you don’t want to gamble? There are some apps that will pay you for fitness and health activities. But, they don’t pay much — a few bucks a month. But these apps can be used simultaneously to boost your earnings. And, outside of keeping the apps open on your smart phone, there’s only a few minutes of work involved to make sure they sync to your activity tracker or claim your points.


CashWalk is a free smart-phone app that pays you a small amount, generally in gift cards, to keep it running while you exercise. The site promises one “step coin” for each 100 feet you walk each day, up to a total of 100 step coins for those who reach the maximum daily limit of 10,000 steps per day.

Step coins aren’t worth a whole lot though. If you get the maximum number, you’ll earn the equivalent of 16.6 cents per day, or about $5 a month. But the real catch is that CashWalk is more interested in your eyes than your thighs. The app gets paid to get you to watch advertisements. So, you’ll see multiple advertisements every time you collect your coins.

That’s a little annoying. But users are enthusiastic about the app because it does what it says it will — i.e. pay you a few bucks every month to get fit.


Most companies that promise to pay you to exercise have an ulterior motive. Evidation is no exception.

This site works with biomedical companies to help them find subjects for clinical research. It also works with health care companies that want market research, insights from patients, data on sleep and exercise patterns and their impact on health, as well as real-world studies and long-term research and engagement programs.

By paying participants to keep the Evidation app on, measuring their sleep and exercise, the site gets real-world data at a bargain price. In addition, the surveys it asks people complete for points allow Evidation to segment its users into categories — people with Diabetes; lung cancer; lupus; etc. This puts the company in a perfect position to recruit participants for clinical trials and engage in targeted research.

How much do they pay you? About 10 cents a day, plus a little more if you’re willing to take some surveys and give the app information about your health conditions. In the meantime, it provides health information and articles, as well as data on your progress, which many users find helpful and inspiring.

So, like CashWalk, Evidation isn’t going to make you rich. But, it may help keep you motivated.


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