SAN FRANCISCO—February 2020—Active Wellness, a fitness design & management company announces compelling results from a case study which tracked modified incentives at one of its corporate multi-tenant fitness amenities. After several years of receiving entitled employee access to the corporate fitness amenity and accompanying wellness programs, Active Wellness utilized the behavioral economic concepts of endowment effect and loss aversion and thus changed access to a use-it-or-lose-it model; the measured effects of employee engagement increased 68%. The incentive shift also benefited the commercial real estate owner with an extra $150,000 in profits in less than four years.

“Providing corporate wellness perks is a vital component for supporting employee well-being, but these perks are of little use if they’re not utilized,” said Active Wellness Chief Digital Officer Dr. Mike Rucker. “When we take ownership of something, we naturally value it more and fight harder to maintain it.”

The Active Wellness team increased fitness utilization by positioning the amenity as a co-owned commodity. This distinction, perk vs. co-owned amenity, is an important one because of the behavioral economic concept known as the endowment effect and its principle known as loss aversion, which predicts that the pain of losing something to which we believe we own is greater than the joy of gaining something of equal value.

“Believe it or not, most of us would prefer not to lose $10 we already have to the serendipity of stumbling upon $10 we didn’t have before. Psychologically, there is a great asymmetry between the way we perceive losses and gains,” said Rucker.

Team Active managed employee-member communication and tracked participation based on employer-set incentives at the multi-tenant complex. Complimentary membership remained the same (Active’s corporate client paid the associated member dues per on-site employee), but the shift entailed tracking how often the employee used the fitness amenity and revoking access if the employee did not use the amenity a certain number of days per quarter.

Before the incentive change in 2015, when employees had no risk of losing the amenity, average visits to the facility were 2.2 visits per month. Once a minimum usage policy was put into place, the average monthly visits jumped 68% to 3.7 visits per member per month. For fitness industry amenity engagement, this increase is exceptional. Additionally, attrition rates decreased from 6.74% average attrition in 2015 to 6.01% in 2019.

“Loss aversion strategies hold a lot of potential when they’re architected ethically and empathically. The key is to custom craft a winning game plan with incentives that appeal to a wide range of preferences,” said Rucker.

Active’s ability to tailor and manage unique membership models has benefited clients’ wellness program strategies and ultimately their bottom line. This years-long case study, tracking approximately 1,200 employees, achieved both increased employee wellness engagement and a consistent revenue stream of member dues, which allowed Active to expand its on-site programming while also providing surplus profits to the commercial real estate investor.

For the complete case study and supporting attribution, please click here.

About Active Wellness

Active Wellness designs fitness amenities and delivers wellness programs for multi-tenant, corporate, and medical-fitness centers across North America with the ultimate goal of inspiring people to live actively. With nearly 60 managed facilities in its network, Active Wellness has 1,000 employees and manages accounts for 90,000 members. Services include fitness center design, equipment procurement, operations management, high-tech programming, site marketing, and member engagement, plus a tech-testing lab for pre-market fitness products. Founded in 2014 by a team of fitness industry experts, Active’s mission is to partner with clients to create engaging environments to motivate their employees, residents, patients, and communities to live healthier, more active lives. Visit and contact our team for more information.