By Sam Jack
A mobile app called StepBet is helping local residents stick to their exercise plans this summer.
Taking advantage of pedometers built into smartphones, smart watches and mobile fitness devices, StepBet allows users to “bet” on themselves to meet weekly walking goals. Every participant puts money into a pot, and those who meet the goals get their money back. Those who fall short lose their bet, with their stake going to fund StepBet and allowing other users to make a small profit.
Tamara Salisbury is wrapping up her second, six-week game, and as of last week was on track to win for a second time in a row. When she won the first time around, she got a little over $10 in profit – but the goals are more important than the financial element, she said.
“I like how it sets goals, because it’ll take information from your device and personalize an active day, a regular day, and then a power day, which is usually a couple thousand more,” she said. “It calculates your goals based on what you’ve already been walking, for something that’s reasonable for you.”
Salisbury has also tried a similar app called DietBet that is premised on weight loss, but she prefers StepBet because it’s easier to predict that you will walk a certain number of steps than that you will lose a certain amount of weight.
“There’s been a few nights where I’ve had to go walk up and down my driveway, or walk around my house, to get those extra steps in and hit my goal,” Salisbury said.
The StepBet app is available for Apple and Android devices. For more information, visit www.stepbet.com.