Last updated on July 2nd, 2019 at 09:53 am
In just over two weeks, Wisconsin residents will get the chance to win cash for losing weight. New York-based HealthyWage, an online network that pays members who improve their health by losing weight, has chosen Wisconsin as one of 20 markets the company will enter this year.
“Our background is providing financial incentives for individuals to help them lose weight and even fight obesity on some level,” said Branden Smyth, vice president of business development at HealthyWage. “Our goal is to get employers and individuals in the community involved in the ‘Matchup’ to make an impact on the state of health in any region we enter.”
Individuals will compete in teams of five for the greatest percentage of weight loss, Smyth said.
Three months later, on June 18 the winning teams will receive a total of $18,000 in cash prizes.
“The first place team will win $10,000; second place will receive $5,000 and third place will receive $3,000,” Smyth said. “Teams can be made up of fellow employees or they can team up with friends and family members for even more incentive.”
In order to participate, individuals must pay $60 to be eligible, but teams that join as part of an employer initiative receive a $10 discount, Smyth said.
According to Smyth, Wisconsin was chosen as one of the 2011 markets because of the need for such an incentive, but also because certain employers requested such an incentive.
“Statistics tell us that at least 62 percent of Wisconsin adults are reported as overweight and nearly 30 percent of them are classified as obese,” Smyth said. “We choose specific markets as well because certain employers are looking for that type of incentive to offer their employees.”
Companies large and small have jumped on board for the contest.
“A lot of companies now have cut back on their wellness initiatives because of the recession,” Smyth said. “This is a way they can offer those types of incentives without a lot of administrative work on their part.”
Companies participating in the Wisconsin Matachup already include Extendicare, Foremost Farms, Midwest Dental, Ruud Lighting and Thilmany. Healthywage already has a similar contest planned for Wisconsin in 2012 and as an added incentive will offer any participant with a BMI above 30 who achieves a BMI below 25 after one year an additional $100. New York, San Francisco, and Chicago will also have competitions launched in their markets, Smyth said. To register for The Wisconsin Matchup visit www.HealthyWage.com/wisconsin-matchup.