Step Bet Overall Impressions

Disclaimer – I did not start anteing up money for steps and weight loss in order to “get rich quick”.  I did it because I didn’t want to lose money, but a little return on investment would be nice… After three months, I would like to share my impression of the different opportunities for step incentives that I have tried.  I will have to defer my overall feelings on the diet component until January, since that’s when my two six-month bets will be completed.

This is my unbiased review of WayBetter’s “Step Bet” and HealthyWage’s “Step Challenges.”  This review is based solely on my experience over the past three months and may not be consistent with other people’s results.

Here’s what I’ve learned:

  • WayBetter 15% cut is much better than HealthyWage’s 25% cut (well, duh – but really, how hard can verifying steps really be, maybe HealthyWage would get more participants if they took less money).  Nothing is worse than meeting a tough goal to net less than $2 on a $60 investment.  And then, if you lose, you’re losing $60!  Netting $8-9 on a $40 investment is a much better return on investment and less risky.
  • WayBetter is super transparent on their winning calculations.  You can see online how many people started, the total pot dollar amount, and how many people finished.  You can figure out their share of the pot, and then calculate your winning.  It’s not quite as clear with HealthyWage, but this last time, they sent out an email that had the information necessary, it just didn’t exactly match what was provided online.
  • Membership in WayBetter is nice, as it allows me to triple up on challenges, but it takes 5-6 challenges to make your $50 investment back.  However, over the year, it will be profitable.  The only negative is that people who are members tend to be more serious about meeting their goals, so a lower percentage of people seem to “lose” the challenge, so you really don’t make extra because of WayBetter not taking a cut; you make extra because you sign up for more challenges.
  • Rest days are worth their weight in gold with the WayBetter bets, and the one that I did without a rest day at least had a reasonable daily step goal.  The rest days on the WayBetter bets hurt me on my HealthyWage bets because some days you just don’t feel like getting your steps in!
  • I do appreciate the idea of having 60 days to hit my goal rather than daily/weekly goals, but its not as helpful when the goals are so high.  On the other hand, the daily/weekly goals keep me more accountable, so I don’t get behind.
  • I had heard that WayBetter StepBet goals increase a lot as you win challenges, but they haven’t progressed as quickly as I had feared.  I can continue to do their challenges when I get under 3 total and feel comfortable about the number of steps I must achieve.
  • It doesn’t take long for your HealthyWage goals to significantly increase.  My first batch of three challenges (signed up for on the same day) was 8,363steps/day.  My next one was 9,554 steps/day.  My final one was 9,877 steps/day.  That doesn’t sound like much, but when you multiply by 60, that means you have to hit that number every day or you get really behind, like I am on my final two!  You’ll see what I mean if you continue.  And now, my daily goal would start off over 10,000 steps/day and I’m just not willing to accept that level of insanity times 60.  I’ll be lucky (and tired) to finish the goals I have already committed to.

General information regarding these Step Incentives (and you can’t “lose” your initial investment on any of these bets, but that does not include membership fees for WayBetter StepBets):

  • WayBetter Non-Member StepBets
    • Cost $40 for 6-weeks (first week doesn’t count against you)
    • Limited to one StepBet at a time
    • Only basic StepBet with 4 active days, 2 power days, and 1 rest day per week
    • StepBet proprietary algorithm determines active and power steps
    • Miss a power or stretch day for any week (not counting week 1) = Lose
    • WayBetter takes a 15% cut from the pot
    • New opportunities every week
  • WayBetter Member StepBets
    • Membership costs $50 fee per year
      • Allows you to enter up to three StepBets at any one time
      • WayBetter does not take a cut from the pot from member bets
    • There are several bet formats available (first week doesn’t count against you)
      • $40 for 6-weeks
      • $60 for 8-weeks
    •  StepBet proprietary algorithm determines power and stretch steps
    • Miss a power or stretch day for any week (not counting week 1) = Lose
    • New opportunities every week
  • HealthyWage Step Challenges
    • Cost $60 for 60-days
    • Can enter up to 10 challenges at any time (including diet or team)
    • Step Goal-increase previous 45-day median number of steps steps by 25%
      • Math:  Median determined (excludes days with less than 4000 steps), steps increased by 25%, multiplied by 60 days to give total steps
    • No requirement per day or week, just have to hit total in 60 days
    • Fall short of the total after 60 days = Lose
    • HealthyWage takes a 25% cut from the pot
    • New opportunities twice per month

My conclusions are based upon the following results, as of this moment in time:

  • 1 WayBetter Non-Member Step Bet, Completed, Paid Out
    • Walk to Win
      • Started 7/16/18, Finished 8/26/18,
      • Active day=7,531 steps; Power day=9,831 steps
      • 669/952 Winners (70.27%)
      • Net Profit $8.28
  • 3 WayBetter Member StepBets, Completed, Paid Out
    • Recovery Game (lower goals)
      • Started 7/23/18; Finished 9/2/18,
      • Active day=7,004 steps; Power day=9,143 steps
      • 972/1162 Winners (83.65%)
      • Net Profit $7.74
    • Flex StepBet (can get active and power days in any order)
      • Started 7/30/18, Finished 9/9/18
      • Active day=7,606 steps; Power day=9,929 steps
      • 478/581 Winners (82.27%)
      • Net Profit $8.54
    • StepBetFit and Friendly (3 active days, 2 power days, 2 rest days per week)
      • Started 8/20/18, Finished 9/30/18
      • Active day=7,074 steps; Power day=9,234 steps
      • 771/958 Winners (80.48%)
      • Net Profit $9.70
  • 4 WayBetter Member StepBets, In Progress
    • Recovery Game (lower goals)
      • Started 8/27/18
      • Active day=7,074 steps; Power day=9,234 steps
      • 1064/1256 players remaining (84.71%) with 3 days remaining
    • Step Marathon (7 active days per week; 8 week game)
      • Started 9/3/18
      • Active day=7,145 steps
      • 570/707 players remaining (80.62%) with 24 days remaining
    • StepBetFit and Friendly (3 active days, 2 power days, 2 rest days per week)
      • Started 9/24/18
      • Active day=7,493 steps; Power day=9,060 steps
      • 1064/1256 players remaining (99.85%) with 31 days remaining
    • Recovery Game (lower goals)
      • Started 10/1/18
      • Active day=7,074 steps; Power day=9,234 steps
      • 1291/1291 players remaining (still in warm-up week)
  • 2 HealthyWage Step Challenges, Completed, Paid Out
    • Walk to Win
      • Started 7/12/18, Finished 9/9/18
      • Steps per day = 8,363 * 60 = 501,780
      • Net Profit $1.91
    • Walkin’ On Sunshine
      • Started 7/23/18, Finished, 9/20/18
      • Steps per day = 8,363 * 60 = 501,780
      • Net Profit $1.83
  • 1 HealthyWage Step Challenge, Completed, Not Paid Out
    • Lace ‘Em Up
      • Started 8/1/18, Finished 9/29/18
      • Steps per day = 8,363 * 60 = 501,780
  • 2 Healthy Wage Step Challenges, In Progress
    • Ready Set Step
      • Started 8/15/18, 9 days remaining
      • Steps per day = 9,554 * 60 = 573,240
      • Current daily average steps needed to win = 11,893
    • Big Steppers
      • Started 8/30/15, 24 days remaining
      • Steps per day = 9,877 * 60 = 501,780
      • Current daily average steps needed to win = 10,605

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