While in training for my first ever management position, I had to write an essay on “My Role as a Motivator”.  It didn’t have to be a long essay, or even that profound but it did get me thinking about what motivates people.

 

I came to the conclusion that it wasn’t always money – even in a sales based job.  So I was a little surprised to come across an article in Medical News Today that cites a study done in Toronto which claims that as little as $5 per week seemed to help motivate sedentary adults to stick with their exercise regimes. (You can read the full article at: http://www.medicalnewstoday.com/releases/266260.php ).

 

Of course the article raises more questions than it answers and the study was a small one.  I wonder if anyone has used similar motivators on their patients/clients.  What does it tell us about instant gratification?  Does the weekly money incentive provide instant gratification in a way that the long-term benefits of exercise cannot?

 

Would other incentives help too?  For example, my kids’ orthodontist gives them points when they arrive on-time and when they have taken good care of their teeth and braces between appointments.  The points add up over time and can be redeemed for small gift cards to a number of different stores.

 

What incentives have you tried with your patients/clients?  Did they work?