“A free smartphone app that will pay people to be physically active launches on Wednesday in Britain, with users given digital ‘SweatCoins’ depending on how many steps they take that can be exchanged for rewards or traded like money,” Eric Auchard reports for Reuters. “”

SweatCoin uses “complex software to measure movement and location to prevent cheating, and by using the technology behind virtual currency bitcoin to manage transactions. Retailers, health insurers and corporate wellness managers are taking notice, according to Oleg Fomenko, one of the serial, London-based Russian entrepreneurs who founded Sweatcoin,” Auchard reports. “‘This whole business is pegged to making movement valuable,’ he told Reuters. ‘Eventually, SweatCoin is going to have a rate of exchange tied to the British pound.'”

SweatCoin, available in Britain in Apple’s App Store with an Android app to follow in months, offers one coin for every 1,000 steps. Within weeks users can have enough to exchange for fitness products or services in its marketplace,” Auchard reports. “Rewards include Vivobarefoot running shoes, Kymira infra-red clothing and fitness classes from Wonderush or BOOMCycle.”

“If SweatCoin succeeds, the long-term idea is that insurers or employers might pay to take SweatCoins off the market as a reward to users for their physical activity,” Auchard reports. “‘Right now, movement is valued at zero,” Fomenko said. “How much value a SweatCoin will have will be a market decision but we know it’s not zero.’ There will be competition.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: U.S. and elsewhere, please, ASAP!

SweatCoin badly needs an Apple Watch component. Who the hell wants to carry their iPhone with them everywhere? An Apple Watch is always on your wrist while you’re moving.

Every company and insurer should offer health insurance discounts and/or bonuses for movement.

As we wrote last September:

Those who want to sit around, munching chips, while encasing themselves in growing rolls of fat should pay more for the costs brought on by their heart attacks, gout, diabetes, strokes, asthma, gallbladder disease, osteoarthritis, and cancer treatments.

Next we need a way for Apple Watch to detect smokers and charge them more, too. People who make the effort to be healthy, regardless of whether they actually are lucky enough to be healthy or not*, should pay less for their health insurance as they tax the system far less than those who are sedentary, obese and/or smoke. Just as life insurance costs more for those who live unhealthy lifestyles, their health insurance should cost more, too. (Life insurers should utilize Apple Watches in much the same way.)

*If a person is obese for reasons beyond a sedentary, unhealthy lifestyle, who is actively trying to be healthy as shown by their Apple Watch, but other conditions prevent fat loss (Hypothyroidism, Cushing’s syndrome, hormonal imbalances, Syndrome X, medications, etc.) they should get a lower rate than those who are simply leading sedentary, unhealthy lifestyles. Most cases of obesity are due to sedentary lifestyles and consuming more calories than required, not medical conditions.

Furthermore, people should have every right to sit around eating chips and smoking until they drop dead (unfortunately, it’s rarely that clean; they often first tax the health system to a great degree by developing diabetes, cancers, banging off a couple of heart attacks, having a stroke here and there, etc. before they finally make their exit) and insurance companies should have every right to charge them more since, overall, they cost far more to take care of due to their poor choice(s) which raises costs for those who are trying to take care of themselves and therefore cost the system far less.

If you’re fat because you sit around too much and take in more calories than you can possible burn off by sitting on your ass all day, don’t be offended. Either keep on as you’re doing and pay more to cover your increased costs or put down the chips, stand up and get moving! (You can thank us later by continuing to visit during the 10-20 extra years you’ll get by following our latter advice.)

SEE ALSO:
Why you’ll wear an Apple Watch to keep your job – March 14, 2016
Share your fitness data for an Apple Watch – or cash – March 2, 2016
Tim Cook hints Apple might build a health device – November 10, 2015
Apple should double down on Apple Watch’s health sensors, battery life, and waterproofing – October 2, 2015
Health insurer will charge more for lazy people, less for active people, based on Apple Watch sensors – September 18, 2015