GRAND RAPIDS, MI--(Marketwire - December 29, 2010) - To help Michiganians kick start their New Year's diet and fitness resolutions, HealthyWage™ (, an online network that pays members who improve their health, today announced "The Michigan Matchup" -- a state-wide weight-loss contest that will reward top-performing teams with a total of $18,000 in cash prizes. Currently over 90 health clubs throughout Michigan are supporting contestants and serving as weigh-in locations, including many YMCA's, Endurance, Bally Total Fitness and MVP Sports Clubs. Registration for the contest is open now through January 8 for all Michigan residents.

"The Michigan Matchup brings the state together in a collective effort to achieve weight-loss and health goals through a fun and lucrative contest," said HealthyWage co-founder David Roddenberry. "Competing in teams of 5 against family, friends, and co-workers for added encouragement, bragging rights and big cash prizes leverages our social network model proven to help motivate and sustain weight-loss. Academic research shows that obesity has spread through social networks and will likely reverse through social networks."

Throughout "The Michigan Matchup" teams of five will compete for the greatest percentage of weight lost from January 8 through April 15, 2011. Each participant pays a $60 registration fee and weighs in at the beginning and end of the contest at a local health club. The winning teams will receive a total of $18,000 in cash prizes ($10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second, and $3,000 for third). In addition, participants qualify for $100 cash if they start with a Body Mass Index (BMI) above 30 and achieve a BMI below 25 after 1-year.

In addition to those participating at an individual level, large employers will also join in "The Michigan Matchup" in a "Company vs. Company" division where they compete against other companies throughout the state in an attempt to have their employees lose the most weight. Participating companies include OSF St. Francis Hospital, POH Regional Hospital, Health Plan of Michigan, DP Fox, Marketing Associates, and GTB Indians.

Grand Rapids' own renowned fitness expert, "Mighty Joe" Stankowski, creator of "This Workout Doesn't Suck" and a co-author of "The Power of Champions," also participates in "The Michigan Matchup," serving as spokesperson and offering contestants advice, support and motivation via weekly Q&A-format telephone conference calls.

"Participants in previous financial compensation-based HealthyWage team contests have lost on average 5% of their body weight," Roddenberry notes. "While our company pays all Michigan residents $100 to lose weight as a standard part of our program, we've found that the free $100 cash incentive is more effective at motivating weight loss when coupled with a contest to build excitement and peer support in working toward weight-loss goals."

Those interested in learning more and registering for The Michigan Matchup may do so online at

About HealthyWage™
Health and wellness purveyor HealthyWage provides cash incentives, social and expert-based support, tools and resources, and goal-setting and tracking technologies to address our nation's obesity epidemic and improve America's collective health. The company was founded in response to academic research that proves even small cash rewards triple the effectiveness of weight-loss programs; that people are more effective at losing weight when their own money is at risk; and that social networks play a large role in the spread of obesity, and will likely play a large role in reversing obesity. Learn more online at

Note to Editors: Individual and corporate contestants, health club participants (weigh-in locations), spokesperson "Mighty Joe" Stankowski and/or a HealthyWage company executive available for interview.

Contact Information:

Merilee Kern
Kern Communications