The number of deaths as a result of heart disease as well as obesity is becoming a real and growing problem in the US. People are becoming increasingly lazy with their attitude towards physical activity. Around 610,000 people die of heart disease in the United States every year accounting for a shocking one in every four deaths. Every third person is considered obese.
The solution to the alarming problem is simple: exercise. As a result of the growing problem, a number of startups have recently been founded with the aim to help people achieve their fitness goals. There is one startup that chose a controversial method to do it: negative reinforcement.
That’s right, the way that parents and dog owners teach their little precious ones to act right is the method that Raleigh based Lazy Jar decided to get people to meet their fitness goals. And its working.
Lazy Jar was launched in 2016 and comes in the form of a downloadable app that helps users achieve their fitness goals by financially penalizing them if they don’t meet their objective. Eighty-percent of the funds collected by Lazy Jar are donated to research of childhood cancer with the other 20% kept by Lazy Jar.
Using the app is simple. Users set their weekly fitness goals for a period of six months. The goals are outlined by the users to great detail and include factors such as steps, miles, calories, or minutes of physical activity a week. The app then integrates with Fitbit software to automatically monitor physical activity.
For any week a user fails to meet their goals, they must pay pay a penalty out of their credit card. The monetary penalty is decided by the user.
“Research shows there is no shortage of Americans who want to lose weight or improve their fitness levels, the issue is, most Americans have a huge obstacle in front of them in the form of lifestyle norms – so they could do with a little push”. said Justin Anyanwu, Founder and CEO at Lazy Jar.
Lazy Jar was created to with the main aim to give people that extra push that they need to make challenging but rewarding lifestyle changes. The second aim is to allow users to give back to those who are less fortunate through charitable donations.
“We want to make fitness a lifestyle rather than a hassle by encouraging people to exercise on a daily basis. Lazy Jar can offer every American the chance to improve their health and reduce obesity as well as cardiovascular accidents whilst also supporting a good cause” Anyanwu concluded.
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