Want healthier workers? Start a lottery

02/28/2013 | Knowledge@Wharton

Four out of five major U.S. companies offer their employees cash incentives in a bid to spur them to exercise and eat more healthily. However, experts say that most could be deploying those incentives more effectively. Workers respond better to the chance of winning a large amount than they do to the guaranteed payment of a smaller amount, so companies can get more bang for their buck by running lotteries open only to workers who complete health-risk assessments.

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