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Oct 13

How to make money by getting healthy

Reading Time: 5 mins

Need an incentive to shed that extra pound or two? Good news! The MoneyMagpie team has uncovered a myriad of ways to make money by getting healthy and we can’t wait to share them with you.

From placing bets to playing guinea pig for clinical trials, here are a few surprisingly simple ideas:


Apps that pay

Health app on phone

With smartphones pretty much being extensions of our bodies these days, it’s hardly surprising that there are a wealth of apps out there to help you get fit.

While all of them offer some sort of incentive or encouragement, we’ve found two UK-based options that will actually reward your efforts with some well-deserved cash… in one form or another.

  • Bounts

In order to receive rewards from Bounts, you will need another fitness tracking app or device to gather statistics on your daily activity levels.

But once you’ve connected Bounts to your fitness tracker of choice, it will immediately start converting your steps into points and rewarding you for getting healthy.

If you’re using a step-counting device such as a FitBit, you will need to do at least 7000 steps a day to qualify for points. The minimum requirement for apps such as RunKeeper or Strava is a 20 minute walk/run above an average speed of 4km/h per day.

Users receive 20 points per activity and can earn up to 180 points a day.

These points can then be redeemed for exclusive offers, discounts and vouchers at various retailers and big name brands. Just take note that it may take a while to accumulate enough points to get shopping – just to give you an idea: 1800 points would roughly translate into a £5 Amazon voucher.

Visit the Bounts website for more details.

  • Sweatcoin

Similar to Bounts, you keep the Sweatcoin app open in your phone’s background and it will track your movement throughout the day, rewarding you with 1 Sweatcoin for every 1000 steps.

What makes this app a little different, however, is the fact that it actually specifically encourages getting healthy outdoors by not rewarding users for any indoor activity.

Once you’ve accumulated a number of Sweatcoins, you can start exchanging them for offers in the app. These offers can be absolutely anything – digital watches, online memberships, food, drinks, shoes, clothes, running gadgets, music/software downloads, digital services, and more.

Since Sweatcoin is basically a micro currency, you are also able to buy, sell and earn with it. However, it’s going to take a little bit of research and practice to get it just right.

Find out more on the Sweatcoin website.


Place a bet

Bet365 website

While the prospect of gaining some extra money may be a great driving force, we can all agree that the fear of losing cash is even more powerful.

Perhaps this is why many people have started opting to place bets on their efforts to get healthy.

We would, in normal circumstances, say NEVER gamble (unless you’ve really mastered Matched Betting, which is risk free.)

But this is a little different. It’s more of a way to motivate yourself to reach your goal.

From what we can gather, there are two main ways of going about this:

  • Bookies

In February 2015, AOL reported on two British men who had each managed to gain a bit of an income while they shed their unwanted weight.

According to the article, “Clydebank pie lover Gary Connell won £2,500 in January, after placing a £25 bet at William Hill that he could lose 100lbs in a year. Meanwhile, Patrick Barnes from Birmingham won £2,500 at odds of 25-to-one after betting that he could lose 70 lbs in a year.”

While these two seemed to have the tenacity (and luck) to pull through on their promises to themselves, it’s not necessarily the safest or most rewarding route for just anyone to take.

  • Websites

While we couldn’t track down any local diet betting websites, UK residents are allowed to participate in challenges on a number of US sites, including DietBet and Healthy Wage.

While each site has different rules and participation options, it basically comes down to the following: place a bet/wager on your weight loss goal (within a specific time frame) and if you manage to reach this goal you get money.

DietBet has a strong gamification slant, giving users the option to either join an existing challenge or create their own. Healthy Wage, on the other hand, seems more individual-focused, but also has opportunities for users to win even more money by participating in 10-team and jackpot challenges.


Health insurance rewards

Health insurance concept image

Whether you’ve opted to invest in private health insurance or rely on the NHS, chances are pretty good that you may not be making the most of the incentives they offer you to live your healthiest life.

  • Vitality rewards

The moment you sign up for one of Vitality’s health insurance plans, you can start earning points for getting healthy.

Similar to the apps mentioned earlier, you can gain points for tracking your daily activity. Incentives start with as little as 12 points a week – which roughly translates to 12,500 steps in a day twice a week – which can be redeemed for a Starbucks drink and a cinema ticket.

Up this to 880 points in one go when you do an online health review and take a Vitality Healthcheck. Once you’ve accumulated enough, you can use these points to purchase anything from spa treatments to airplane tickets.

Check out the Vitality website for more details on their reward system.

  • NHS incentives

While they haven’t been approved just yet, NHS has come up with some radical proposals to reward your attempts at getting healthy with up to 25 per cent off weekly grocery purchases. Furthermore they seem to be taking a page out of Vitality’s book, looking to reward clients who achieve 12, 500 steps or more at least three times a week with free cinema tickets.

These ideas focus on ‘new towns’ and an effort to “design-in” healthy lifestyles by providing new homes with free bikes and equipping neighbourhoods with outdoor gyms and pavements with sprint tracks.

Apart from this, as the largest employer in the EU, NHS is also leading the charge for corporates and companies who want to encourage a culture of getting healthy among staff members. They will be offering financial incentives for increased activity, as well as regular mental and physical health checks.

Read more about these financial incentives on the NHS website.


Clinical trials

Docotor giving young woman medication

Taking part in paid clinical trials can be a way to make a lot of money in a short amount of time, but there are serious potential downsides so be very clear about those if you go in for this.

Depending on what kind of trial you take part in, how invasive the trials are and how long they take, you can earn anything from £100 to about £4,000.

Read all about it here:

Make money taking part in clinical trials

Other ways in which you can gain an income from getting healthy:

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2 years ago

Some interesting apps and websites here.

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