May 19, 2017 5:07 pm
Updated: May 19, 2017 7:32 pm

Edmonton-made app rewards you for being physically active

WATCH ABOVE: An Edmonton startup company wants to motivate people to stay active by rewarding them for each and every kilometre they run and walk each day. Emily Mertz explains the incentive.

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Regular exercise is a big part of staying healthy, but it’s not always the easiest thing to get excited about. A start-up company in Edmonton wants to motivate people to get active using incentives.

Run for Stuff was created by six university students with a passion for fitness. It’s an app they hope to launch in August.

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By using the GPS and pedometre on their smartphone, users earn points throughout the day for every kilometre they walk or run. Then, they can use those points to get discounts and deals on fitness apparel and other products from partner companies.

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“We’re trying to encourage more activity,” co-founder Michael Bouchard said. “Only five per cent of people in North America get their daily activity, which is 30 minutes, so it’s not that much.

“A lot of people don’t even know they’re being physically active… You walk your dog, you take the stairs, you go get coffee for lunch — you’re being active. What we’re trying to do is spark that interest, like, ‘you know what? I am active’ and you can see that through Run for Stuff.

“We motivate through giving them rewards and incentives and getting them discounts. It’s essentially a rewarding platform that you don’t have to spend money to get.”

Bouchard says Run for Stuff is partnering with local companies interested in offering deals on fitness products, but they have dreams to expand.

“We’re building a large network of people who are excited about using Run for Stuff. Then, when we go to these companies, we’re able to say: ‘we have customers ready to go and this is the value you get, you get to reward your customers for being active, you get to give something back to your customers, increase brand loyalty, and also increase your sales within your company.”

READ MORE: Edmonton woman defies odds; takes part in first fitness competition 

The team received a grant from Startup Edmonton, but needs more funding to get the project to the next level. It launched an Indiegogo campaign Friday to help fundraise.

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Run for Stuff hopes Edmonton’s already fitness-friendly community will welcome a little extra incentive to stay healthy.

“A lot of times I’m working out in the gym and, without Run For Stuff even being out yet, I’m just like, ‘if this was out, I would totally run that extra kilometre,'” Bouchard said, “because that just means a little extra points that get me maybe something on discount that’s exclusive and awesome.”

The company has a goal of encouraging one million people to be more active over the course of two years.

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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