60-Second Mind

Fear Gets Us to the Gym

Research from the University of Bath reveals that the kind of messaging that persuades us to get to the gym is based on how we see ourselves in the future.

Hey did you realize we’re about three weeks from New Year’s resolutions? So in anticipation let’s talk about motivation and persuasion.
Ok, this year what’s it finally going to take to get us to the gym?
A recent study from the University of Bath reveals some useful tactics.
They say that those who are most motivated to sweat it out on the stairmaster also have the most fear of not looking good. And those who are already in pretty good shape are actually the least motivated to drop the burger and pick up the medicine ball.
Professor Brett Martin says that how people see themselves in the future has a strong effect on how motivated they are to keep using a service, or even a product.
They surveyed 281 subjects and found that those who have a negative view of their bodies, were most persuaded by fear messaging, like, “If you want to fit into those jeans, better get those thighs on the treadmill!”
But those who have a positive view of their bodies were the most persuaded by encouraging messaging, like, “Wow, you do a great downward dog.”
Here's the classic theory behind persuasive messaging: fear works best for those on the sidelines and a cheerleader motivates those already in the game.

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