Gamification with or without financial incentives to increase physical activity among heart disease patients


Atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease (ASCVD) is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality in the United States (U.S.) Regular physical activity has been demonstrated to reduce the risk of ASCVD, yet less than 50% of adults in the U.S. achieve the minimum recommended level of physical activity. Past clinical trials conducted by our team have shown that gamification and financial incentives increased physical activity during 3-month interventions with sustained differences from control during 3-month follow up periods. However, these findings have not been tested in longer-term periods.


We designed an 18-month randomized, controlled trial to test the effectiveness of gamification with social support, financial incentives, or both, to increase physical activity.  Patients with or at risk for developing ASCVD will use a wearable device to establish a baseline step count and monitor activity during the trial.


This clinical trial is currently enrolling patients. Results are expected to be reported in 2023.


Penn Medicine Heart and Vascular Center


National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (NHLBI)

Work with us


3400 Civic Center Boulevard
14th Floor, South Pavilion
Philadelphia, PA 19104