A Simple Reinforcement Strategy for Increasing Attendance at a Fitness Facility

Kerry S. Courneya, Paul A. Estabrooks, Claudio R. Nigg

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

24 Scopus citations


The purpose of the present study was to examine the effect of a previously untested reinforcement strategy (i.e., 1 month's free membership) on attendance at a fitness facility. Participants were paying members of a fitness facility randomly assigned to control (n = 100), placebo (n = 100), and reinforcement (n = 100) conditions. The control condition received no intervention; the placebo condition received a letter by mail; and the reinforcement condition received the same letter by mail, except that it included an additional paragraph instructing them that they could earn 1 month's free membership if they attended the fitness facility at least 12 times in the next month. Attendance was monitored for 1 month baseline and postintervention by using the facility's computer system. Analysis of variance, t tests, and chi-square analysis all revealed that the reinforcement condition had the best attendance record during the intervention period. These preliminary results shed some light on increasing attendance at a fitness facility. Discussion highlighted the practical implications of the findings and offered directions for future research.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)708-715
Number of pages8
JournalHealth Education and Behavior
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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