Physical Activity

Millions of Americans suffer from illnesses that can be prevented or improved through regular exercise. In fact, some of the leading causes of illness and death in the United States – such as heart disease, colon cancer and diabetes – can be avoided by performing physical activity on most days of the week. While many individuals are aware that exercising more frequently could improve their health, starting and maintaining this behavior is often a challenge. CHIBE’s research on physical activity explores how behavioral economic interventions – such as incentives, social support, competition, and gamification – can increase physical activity and optimize health.

Here's some of our work in the area of physical activity

man exercising at gym
If you'd like to partner with CHIBE on a physical activity project, email us here

Temptation Bundling

By bundling “want” experiences with “should” behaviors—such as listening to a thrilling audio book while at the gym—CHIBE researchers found a way to increase gym visits among study participants.


In this trial, CHIBE researchers found that patients who wore wearable devices and were assigned to gamification interventions using insights from behavioral economics significantly increased their physical activity.

Financial Incentives

Leveraging loss aversion and financial incentives, CHIBE researchers found that patients with ischemic heart disease who used wearables to track their steps could significantly increase their physical activity.

Behavioral Phenotyping

Our researchers discovered that demographic, behavioral, and psychological characteristics can explain differential response to physical activity interventions. These findings may help better tailor interventions to participants.

Our Experts in Physical Activity

kevin volpp

Kevin Volpp

Iwan headshot

Iwan Barankay

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Angela Duckworth

Karen Glanz

Karen Glanz

Ryan Greysen

Ryan Greysen

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Leslie John

Daniel Lee

Katy Milkman

roy rosin headshot

Roy Rosin

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Dylan Small

Andrea Troxel