The Carrot Rewards app on smart phones.

The Carrot Rewards app on smart phones.

New ‘Carrot’ reward app measures health

The province is offering the carrot and withholding the stick for residents trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

The province is offering the carrot and withholding the stick for residents trying to lead a healthier lifestyle.

Learn about sodium or how to stay fit without going to the gym and gain 70 Aeroplan miles for completing a quiz. Easy.

British Columbians can take part in a pilot program that offers points to those who download the Carrot Reward app on their smart phone. The next three months will decide its success and whether or not the rest of Canada can start piling up rewards.

This is how it works. The app can be downloaded from iTunes or Google Play. Users provide their email, and then choose where they want their points to go: Aeroplan, PetroPoints, Scene and Save-On-Foods’ MoreRewards.

“At this point, it’s just surveys or quizzes so people are completing a survey to learn more about healthy living or healthy behaviours and then they get rewarded with loyalty points of their choice,” said Sarah Lindstein, media relations for the B.C. Ministry of Health.

If the program makes it to a later phase, Lindstein said the app will also track physical activity with specific gyms, such as the YMCA.

It doesn’t matter if you answer the questions right or wrong in the survey, the user gets points no matter what. Anytime the user logs into the app they get rewarded.

“With a lot of public health programs we dictate to people what they should be doing, instead of suggesting and encouraging. This is a big way for people to learn what they should be doing rather than telling them,” Lindstein said.

Support from the program comes from the federal and provincial government, totalling $7.5 million, as well as the Public Health Agency of Canada, the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Diabetes Association and Social Change Rewards.