Apps pay players to be heathy

Apps combine with Pokémon Go to donate to charities and pay players to be healthy

By Alana Edgin
On September 1, 2016

Graphic by: Caroline Cline

Pokémon Go players and college students have the opportunity to make money by simply walking with an app called HealthyWage.

Pokémon Go, an app filled with digital creatures to catch and train, uses your GPS to pinpoint your location and give Pokémon that would be in that area. This innovative app has people of all ages getting out, and companies, such as HealthyWage, want to take advantage of the craze and help people out while doing it.
HealthyWage, an app designed to challenge contestants to lose weight or increase steps, offers everyone the chance to make up to ten thousand dollars by increasing their steps by 25 percent. The company is marketing the step challenges towards Pokémon Go players. 

“Pairing this with Pokémon Go and college students seemed like a natural fit because you guys are already walking a lot, and always need extra money,” Co-Founder of HealthyWage David Roddenberry said. “One of our employees, a woman named Kate, plays Pokémon Go all the time with her kids. She came into the office one day and said “I’ve been running around all weekend hunting Pokémon.” Now a lot of our employees and I play.” 

Users, through the app or online, can sign up to compete as individuals or teams, and can choose between weight loss challenges or step challenges. In the step challenges, which Roddenberry said is best for Pokémon Go players, users only have to increase their steps by 25 percent. Unlike Pokemon Go, HealthyWage does not have to be open on the device, due to GPS on the devices. 

 “We created the app because a study from the University of Pennsylvania released a study that said groups who worked together for cash lost more weight,” Roddenberry said.

There is a small fee of about $50 to start a challenge, and if a user does not meet the challenge, they lose their deposit. Just for walking around, catching Pokémon or exercising, students can earn almost enough money to pay their tuition. Users can choose to get a check or get paid through PayPal when they complete the challenge.

Challenges can last from 12 weeks to 18 months, and at the end, users win cash prizes. 

Among HealthyWage, there are apps that donate to charities for every mile a user walks. Apps like Charity Miles and Walk for a Dog donate to children, animal shelters and more. 

Local stores also offer discounts to Pokémon Go players, such as Stango’s Coffee Shop.  

“Pokémon Go lets people live out their Pokémon dream in real life and I wanted to see exactly what the app could do,” Stephen Mora, freshman, said. “As for the discounts you get for being a player, I think it’s cool and as a college kid I’m always down for a good discount.”


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