It’s safe to assume that some of you are on a weight loss journey, and you’re not alone.
According to the most recent data from the World Health Organization, there are more than 1.9 billion adults who are overweight — and 650 million who are obese.
On top of this, 8 out of 10 Americans are strapped with debt. It’s a challenging situation any way you look at it.
Enter HealthyWage, a company that encourages personal weight loss and gives financial incentives for people who can reach their goals.
HealthyWage has received a lot of attention lately from major companies and individuals who have had success using their platform.
But can you trust HealthyWage? And is it really a weight loss program that will help you make money?
We did some investigation to get you the basic details. Here’s what we found.
How HealthyWage Works
HealthyWage is a for-profit organization that’s part of the health and wellness industry.
In short, HealthyWage pays cash prizes in exchange for weight loss and fitness challenges.
The company uses a multi-faceted strategy to encourage public health, combining prize money, social motivation, and peer pressure with a financial commitment from users.
HealthyWage is unique because the company serves both businesses and individuals.
This is accomplished in two ways:
1. The HealthyWage Challenge
HealthyWage lets you create and customize your own weight loss challenge.
First, you customize your challenge details. For example, “I want to lose 10 pounds of body weight” (calculated by BMI).
After setting your starting weight, establish a central contact person, and choose a group type (such as family, friends, or coworkers).
Then, you set a time frame for the challenge. You can even set up teams within your group.
Next, you need to set a cost per entry (aka HealthyWage bet) that each person must pay to participate.
All participants who achieve 6% weight loss during the contest will win an equal share of the prize pot.
Participants receive 12 weeks of support from HealthyWage to achieve their weight loss goals, including weekly emails, access to a mobile app on Android and iOS, and access to the HealthyWage online community.
2. Challenges for Employees
In addition to the above challenge for individuals, HealthyWage offers services for corporate and government clients.
According to HealthyWage, the service is 100% turnkey and free to offer for employees. The service can be added to new and existing wellness programs, to incentivize wellness, decrease healthcare costs, reduce sick days, and improve employee morale, among other benefits.
HealthyWage pays cash prizes in exchange for weight loss and fitness challenges, what's there to lose, other than those extra pounds?
Gamified Weight Loss
For some people, going to the gym is not a fun experience. It can be grueling, exhausting work — particularly for those who haven’t exercised in a while, or who are dealing with injuries or are very overweight.
By gamifying weight loss, HealthyWage makes the experience fun and competitive. The competitive nature can make you work harder towards your weight loss goals.
For example, HealthyWage could encourage participants to think about weight loss outside of the gym.
It’s often said that weight loss doesn’t happen in the gym. In fact, going to the gym can, in some cases, undermine weight loss.
Losing weight requires discipline — including watching your diet, getting enough rest, drinking enough water, and so on.
As such, taking part in a weight-loss bet can potentially help people stay motivated and on course throughout the duration of the contest.
The HealthyWager Challenge
The HealthyWager is an individual weight loss challenge with a potential payout of up to $10,000.
HealthyWage offers a sliding scale with a correlating prize range. Users are allowed to select how many pounds they want to lose and the amount of time they need to reach their goal. Bets can be placed on a monthly basis.
Users are then asked to submit a variety of data points — like current weight and gender. A final weigh-in via video is also required. From there, the company’s algorithm determines a final prize amount if the weight loss goal is achieved and the potential return on investment. The final step is to make your bet, and the contest starts.
Rewards are distributed in HW Points, which have a value of $1 each. These rewards can expire after 12 months of inactivity and must be manually transferred via check or PayPal.
HealthyWage offers Jackpot Challenges for people who want to lose at least 6% of their weight. For a 240-pound person, this comes to 14.4 pounds. Individuals are placed onto a team, and amounts are pooled during the challenge.
At the end of the challenge, the money is distributed evenly among teams who met the goal, minus a hefty 25% administrative fee.
Step Challenges are also available as a way to encourage people to get moving. Step Challenges are done using teams, where participants must submit entry fees into a pool. Users can select to reach 300,000 steps in 30 days, or 1 million steps in 100 days, which come to about 10,000 steps per day on average — or about 5 miles.
$10,000 Team Challenge
This challenge involves getting a team of at least five people together. They can be manually selected or placed at random.
It’s a three-month challenge, with a fee of $25 per month or $33 per month for an individual. In the end, earnings are distributed among the top three teams who have the most weight loss.
Another useful aspect of HealthyWage is that you are going up against other people that you know at work, in your family, and in your circle of friends.
When it comes to staying healthy, social media influence can be very powerful. After all, you don’t want to be the only one in the group to not collect on a rewards pot — especially if everyone puts in a significant amount of their own money.
It should be noted that success rates for HealthyWage tend to vary, with 25 to 40 percent of participants winning their bets.
Relatively Low Risk
The nice part about HealthyWage is that it’s a legitimate company.
That said, there is some level of risk that you should be aware of. For example, the company has a no refund policy.
Once a bet is made, it’s set in stone. This can be a problem if you sign up for a team challenge, and the other team members flake out or disappear.
You won’t get your money back if you’re the only one who tried. Also, the company is not accredited by the BBB.
When placing any bet, you should feel completely comfortable with your decision and the potential outcome before agreeing to any terms.
HealthyWage is free to sign up. Fees are collected when individual bets are placed for challenges. They’re also collected when folks sign up for group challenges.
Group admins have the option to regulate how much each team has to contribute. This is determined before the challenge begins.
The biggest thing to note is that HealthyWage charges a 25% administration fee for group challenges. Long-time readers know that I hate fees, and this initially left me scratching my head.
After all, basic math suggests that it would be impossible for everyone to profit this way. In other words, if you have 10 people, and a $500 total pot, a 25% administrative fee on the pot would bring total earnings down to just $375 in the event that everyone reaches their goal.
As it turns out, HealthyWage has a “no-lose” guarantee. If more than 75% of people reach their intended weight loss goal, all winners will be compensated for at least their entry fee.
This is easily the biggest downside to HealthyWage, as teams aren’t compensated for a perfect turnout. It’s better than losing, but it’s definitely disappointing to reach a goal and not receive a legitimate payout.
Signing up for individual challenges can take a few minutes, as it requires submitting personal information and virtually weighing in.
There are four ways that you can verify your weigh-in when using HealthyWager.
1. Use HealthyWager’s Mobile App
According to HealthyWager, the most popular way to verify your weight is to use their mobile app.
All you have to do is step on a scale at home, and go through a step-by-step process that involves uploading your video.
From there, HealthyWage’s officials will review the results and verify your weight.
2. Use Video Verification
Another option is to use a full-length mirror. The video can be uploaded to a challenge dashboard for instant verification.
This can be done using your mobile device. If you’ve got a decent mirror hanging around and want to channel your inner runway model, why not give it a whirl?
3. Verification by Health or Fitness Professional
In addition to the previous methods, you can verify your weight by printing a VerifyMe! form from HealthyWage’s challenge dashboard, bringing it to a health or fitness professional and having them sign the form indicating they saw your weigh-in.
This form can be scanned or submitted using a photo and uploaded to the challenge dashboard.
4. WW Meeting Verification
Lastly, weight can be verified by a staff member during a weigh-in at a WeightWatchers meeting.
Staff members can also record a video for proof.
HealthyWage pays cash prizes in exchange for weight loss and fitness challenges, what's there to lose, other than those extra pounds?
The need for data privacy is heightened in an app like HealthyWage — especially when sharing weight loss challenges with other employees and supervisors.
The last thing you would want is for your employer to access your sensitive health data — or anyone else for that matter.
HealthyWage maintains that all weight information is kept private and viewed only by HealthyWage staff members.
Data is never shared publicly — with teammates, or with employers.
In addition, the company uses a variety of security technologies and procedures to protect personal data from unauthorized access — including 256-bit encryption and secure socket layer (SSL protection).
In addition, databases are isolated from the internet and accessed over a private network.
HealthyWage offers a few different ways to get in touch with agents for troubleshooting problems.
The company can be reached by email at [email protected]
Phone service is also available, at (888) 636-3832.
You can also fax the company at (651) 964-3499. (If you’re still using fax these days, I’m impressed!)
In addition, HealthyWage offers a support ticketing system for advanced troubleshooting.
As we mentioned, all bets are final once they are placed. So, you shouldn’t expect to get your money back if you place the wrong bet.
However, the company can help with technical or support-related questions, so at least you’re not entirely on your own.
Pros and Cons
- Large potential payouts of up to $10,000
- Socialized weight loss incentives
- Useful for individuals, teams, and companies
- Widespread support and a wealth of testimonials
- Encourages gambling
- The more people who win, the lower the payout
- Gambling may lead to unintended consequences
HealthyWage Success Stories
HealthyWage offers some motivating testimonials on their website.
Here are some of the best ones we’ve seen to date.
Success Story #1: Kristen W. Loses 114 Pounds
Kristen W. from Indianapolis lost 114.5 pounds in 12 months — just by walking and tracking her food intake using MyFitnessPal. Kristen went from 278.8 pounds to 164.3 pounds, reaching her goal and racking up $4,000 in the process. Way to go, Kristen! Such an incredible story.
Success Story #2: Anastasia W. Loses 41 Pounds
Anastasia W., from Edmonds, Washington, set a weight loss goal of 41 pounds. She bet the maximum amount that she could afford, at $167 for a period of 18 months.
In the end, Anastasia reached her goal and walked away with a whopping $10,000.
You go, girl! So awesome. That’s life-changing cash for most people.
Success Story #3: Blake S. Loses 150 Pounds
Blake S. from Pennsylvania wagered $150 per month for a period of 15 months, hoping to lose a total of 150 pounds. Blake reached his weight loss goal and won a cash prize of $4,670.
Congratulations, Blake! You definitely earned it.
These are just three of an extensive list of customer success stories. For more of these awesome stories, head over to HealthyWage’s website.
Alternatives to HealthyWage
Before you go all in on HealthyWage, be sure to check out similar offerings.
DietBet is similar to HealthyWage, as the platform allows participants to bet on themselves to lose weight. Users can create their own challenges and participate in group activities.
RunBet is a little bit different, as it encourages exercise instead of weight loss. Users first select a game with suitable goals, commit to a running schedule, sync with a fitness app, and win cash prizes.
StepBet will actually pay you for walking and reaching your fitness goals. You simply bet on yourself to meet specific step goals. By reaching your step goals at the end of the week, a pot of winnings is then divided with other winners.
Have a look at StepBet.
Is HealthyWage a Popular Service?
While HealthyWage does not have any public information regarding how many people use their service, they do have a ton of positive reviews. Their website advertises some big-name partners — including Fox News, ABC, Woman’s Day, NPR, Today, and Good Morning America.
This is a widely-used app, and it’s not a scam.
Can You Make a Lot of Money Using HealthyWage?
As some of the above-mentioned examples proved, you can potentially double your bet on HealthyWage by agreeing to a weight loss goal that you can actually attain, and by following an active lifestyle and disciplined dietary regimen.
That said, you can also lose big. Part of the process about incentivizing weight loss with money is that you have the potential to lose it.
Remember, this is gambling — and it’s very easy to lose money.
Unfortunately, the app does not consider external circumstances when you place a bet. For example, you may place a wager and then have a health issue that forces you to be immobile for weeks, increasing your chances of gaining weight.
Or you may start taking a medication that results in unwanted weight gain.
Unfortunately, these scenarios can work against your bet and cause you to potentially miss out on any extra money that you hoped to earn.
Does HealthyWage Work?
The truth about winning on HealthyWage is that it requires hard work. That’s why about half of people lose when using the service.
Many people sign up thinking they can easily use weight, only to remember how hard of a time they had before starting.
It’s important to be honest with yourself when making a bet through a service like HealthyWage — and to remember that weight loss is not magic.
There are many factors that go into weight loss, such as your age, overall health condition, diet, stress level, and genetic factors, among other things.
Is HealthyWage a Good Investment?
This is something that only you can answer. If you’re in a position where you have to lose weight to improve your health, using a service like HealthyWage may be the type of service that you need to reach your goals. So if health is a priority for you, then it may be a good investment.
From purely a financial standpoint, it’s difficult to recommend a service that encourages gambling in any way. Here at Millennial Money, we recommend getting rich slowly — i.e., the Warren Buffett way.
That’s not to say you shouldn’t ever gamble, far from it! But, generally speaking, it’s better to avoid a gamble and stash your money in something like a high-yield savings account instead.
Or you could put it into a secure index fund like Vanguard and watch the money grow over time. Of course, to play the devil’s advocate, you could lose in the stock market, too.
As with any investment, start by taking a look at your financial situation and make a judgment based on your needs. If you have a few bucks to play with, this could be worth a shot. Only you can make this decision.
Should I Consider HealthyWage?
Consider HealthyWage if you’re looking to lose weight, and you are in a position to absorb whatever money you may potentially lose.
Avoid placing large bets that could potentially set you back financially for months or years. The last thing you want is to think you are going to win money, but then lose it all.
Trust me; I’ve been there!
Who Can Participate in HealthyWage?
HealthyWage is available for residents in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Mexico, Latin America, Australia, and most of Europe and Asia.
According to the company, employer participation generally allows access from anywhere in the world.
Is HealthyWage For You?
HealthyWage is a program for people who want to start dieting in a way that is fun, competitive, and potentially rewarding.
As a member, you and your friends, family, and coworkers can bet against yourselves and potentially walk away with hundreds or even thousands of dollars in your pocket.
HealthyWage encourages healthy living and rewards you for making smart lifestyle changes. However, you could also get burned if you’re not careful about keeping up and following through with commitments.
It’s also important to remember that you don’t have to use a service like HealthyWage as a motivator to lose weight.
For example, you could strike a weight loss bet with a friend or a group of people and create a Facebook page to socialize it and add a public incentive. (And you can even do it the old-fashioned way, without technology.)
This way, you won’t have to worry about losing money, and you can still potentially reach your goals as a team.
At the end of the day, a service like HealthyWage can help you get your health and weight back on track — while making a little bit of extra money on the side.
As an added bonus, you’ll feel better every day, and you’ll have more energy to get stuff done — which can help you get to the next level in your professional life (and your personal life, too, for that matter).
Add it all up, and if you’re lucky for some extra cash and you want to drop some pounds at the same time, HealthyWage seems like a no-brainer. Besides some extra weight, what do you have to lose?
Check out even more ways to get paid to walk.