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Runner’s Tech: Review of Earndit, Rewarding You For Exercise

Posted May 09 2012 8:58am

How would you like to receive freebies just by logging your running, biking, or swimming? As it turns out, there is a website for that! Since a few months ago I’ve been trying out a site called  Earndit . This is where you can track activities or compete with others to redeem prizes – no strings attached.

To begin, there’s no need for you create an account for Earndit. All you do is log in with a supporting service of your choice (Garmin, RunKeeper, Nike+, Foursquare, etc.). Then you’ll land on the main tab, Dashboard, which displays your basic stats and info. There you will find your points, challenge invitation, featured rewards, people you’re following, and trophies from various achievements. The other 3 tabs are Rankings, Redeem, and Challenges – these pages are concise and self-explanatory.

The main page is easy to navigate

The layout of the website is easy to navigate because there aren’t many areas that require user input. The visual design is neat but a bit bland for my taste. But I see nothing wrong with the look and feel, for Earndit doesn’t seem to be a website on which you’ll spend lots of time interacting with people and sharing your workouts. It’s intended to be a platform for people to “earn” their rewards for putting in the time to stay active.

How do you earn these rewards? First you’ll have to have one of the syncing services (mentioned earlier) that are compatible with Earndit. With that properly set up, you log your activities (be it walking, running, swimming, working out in a gym) like you normally do. The next time you log in to Earndit, it will automatically allot you with points based on your activity type and amount. For example, you can get 10 points per mile by foot or 3 points per mile by bike – even checking in a gym on Foursquare gives you 15 points. These points are gained on a daily basis with a point cap; the limit of daily points is 60, regardless of how you combine activities to get them.

With enough points, you can redeem rewards such as products or gift cards from a variety of brands. In general these brands are related to fitness products, supplements, and apparel. The cost for redemption ranges from 30 points to 1000 points depending on the value of the reward.

The only prize I’ve redeemed so far was a $35 gift card for Blank Label  - I used the gift card to buy a custom dress shirt. As a matter of fact, I’ve know about Blank Label long before I heard about Earndit; and I’ve always wanted to give it a try. Earndit’s gift card gave me a nice deal for the top-quality, tailor-made (kind of) dress shirt that fits me really well. I might end up getting more shirts from Blank Label in the future.

In addition to the rewards, there are also Challenges that will be available from time to time. Challenges are special events sponsored periodically by Earndit’s partners. Once accepted, a challenge will require participants to reach a point goal within a specific time frame. When that requirement is fulfilled, qualified participants are entered into a random drawing for prizes that do not require points for redemption. I was lucky enough to be the grand prize winner of the Peeled Snack Challenge in April 2012 with 360 points. For this event, I received a box of organic dried fruit from Peeled Snacks  within one week of winning.

On the whole, Earndit is a legitimate platform that motivates (or incentivizes) those who wish to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle. It’s simple to use because you don’t need to manually upload or check it every day like another social site. The point limit is a practical way to ensure fairness and allow participants of all levels to stay motivated with an element of competition. The only shortcoming in Earndit’s current state is that its reward selection is slightly underwhelming. However I have no doubt the prizes will improve both in value and variety as the website grows.

Have you heard of fitness reward sites like Earndit? What kind of prizes would you be interested in from Earndit? What are some other websites that can help with keeping you motivated and accountable?

- Kevin

(Kevin Lu is an engineer, currently working in the field of orthopedic devices. He received his B.S. and M.S. in biomedical engineering from New Jersey Institute of Technology. Science, technology, and running are Kevin’s passions. In his spare time, Kevin trains for and participates in races of various distances. His recent personal records include 20:58/5K and 5:48:22/50K. Follow him on Twitter (@ SweatEngine ) and check out his blog Beyond Distance .)

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