With this app, it’ll cost you to skip the gym

Exercise takes many forms at health clubs. (AP)

WASHINGTON – A new app is designed to make you go to the gym by making it hurt financially if you don’t.

It’s part app, part enforcer.

The individualized program, called Gym Pact, first asks you make a pact that you’ll get to the gym a certain number of days per week, and commit a certain amount of money you’ll owe each day you miss the gym. You can choose to work out one day a week or seven. You set the amount of your financial commitment, with a $5 minimum. You can change your pact each week, but you must do so ahead of time.

Then, when you get to the gym, you check in with your iPhone and the app confirms your location via GPS.

If you miss a day, your credit card is automatically charged. But, if you follow through with your plan, you get a cash reward. Gym Pact will tally the money it made from those who missed the gym and divide the total among those who kept their pacts. The reward is paid out through PayPal.

The app was created by a behavioral economics class at Harvard University and began with a pilot in Boston. According to its creators, the concept saw a 90 percent success rate of getting people to the gym.

To learn more, head to Gym Pact’s website.

WTOP’s Del Walters contributed to this report. Follow WTOP on Twitter.

(Copyright 2012 by WTOP. All Rights Reserved.)

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