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Maxwell X Lab

Project Report

Evaluating Email Nudges for the Healthy Monday Race Across the U.S.

December 2022

Project Description

  • Partners: Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health, DIEMLife
  • Intervention: Behaviorally informed email campaign, testing email nudge success
  • Method: Quantitative analysis
  • Outcome: Email reminders increased the likelihood of participants logging activities for the Healthy Monday Race Across the US.

Project Report

The Lerner Center for Public Health Promotion and Population Health at Syracuse University hosted a virtual program called the Healthy Monday Race Across the U.S. Participants in the race tracked a variety of their healthy activities (e.g., steps walked, physical exercises, cooking a vegetarian meal, meditating, and more). Each activity was converted to virtual miles that moved the participant across a computer-simulated map of the U.S. throughout the six-week challenge. The program was designed to help individuals create and continue healthy habits by using gamification. The Healthy Monday Race Across the U.S. took place from September 12th to October 21st, 2022.

For this research project, the Lerner Center partnered with the Maxwell X Lab (MXL) and DIEMlife to create email messages to encourage engagement in weekly activities and challenge. Specifically, the project aimed to determine whether receiving an email nudge increased the frequency with which a participant logged activities on DIEMlife’s web-based application. To address these research objectives, participants were randomized to either receive a set of reminder emails every Monday through the course of the race or not, and then we tracked the participants’ engagement with the race.

While this pilot was small, it appears to have been very successful. The results indicate that participants who received weekly email reminders were 69 percent more likely to log activities during the race (19.5 percentage points) than those who did not. While this pilot does not have a sufficiently large sample size to state the impact with statistical confidence, it does suggest that email nudges may have large and important impacts on participation in health activities.

Maxwell X Lab
426 Eggers Hall