New app offers rewards for exercising on campus

Friday, December 6, 2019 New app offers rewards for exercising on campus

PLYO app showing on a smartphone screen.

Campus Recreation has partnered with PLYO, a free app geared to motivate college students to exercise and live a healthier life.

With the app, students earn virtual points by spending time in the campus rec centers. Earned points are redeemed for exclusive offers at local businesses, including Gray Whale, Juice Stop, Fuzzy’s Taco Shop, and QDOBA. Online offers are available too, such as Amazon and Starbucks gift cards.

Points tally at a rate of 50 points per hour when exercising alone, or 100 points per hour when you work out with a friend. Typical rewards may be a free drink redeemed for 100 points, or 25% off a purchase for 300 points. Larger rewards are available for 400-700 points, and might be in the vein of a free $10 pizza or BOGO entrees. Each participating store or restaurant set their own offers for redeeming points.

According to Campus Recreation’s assistant director Scott Wagner, PLYO mirrors the mission of Campus Recreation: to encourage healthy habits and well-being in college students.

“Whether it’s the physical, social, or wellness aspect [for why you exercise], when you come through the doors, it works for you,” says Wagner.

On UNL's campus, the PLYO auto-activates when you have the app installed on your smartphone and you step inside the Campus Rec Center, the Outdoor Adventures Center, and the Rec and Wellness Center. In warmer months, outdoor rec spaces will become locations tied to the app, too.

To use PLYO:
1. Download the app from the Google Play or iOS app store.
2. Select University of Nebraska- Lincoln in the initial pop-up menu.
3. Create your account and turn on your device’s location settings.
4. Go to a campus rec location for exercise/play and earn points.

Within the first two days of launching at UNL, more than 500 students downloaded the PLYO app. Wagner’s goal is to approach 5,000 to 10,000 users in the future. He hopes the app invites students to begin healthy habits, as well as adding extra incentives to students already practicing wellness.

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