Can you really get paid to walk?
Walking is one of those things we do every day but rarely think about. In fact, according to the Mayo Clinic, the average American walks about 1.5 to 2 miles a day, which equates to about 3,000 to 4,000 steps a day.
And in true side hustle fashion, it turns out there lots of ways to monetize those steps and make money walking.
Whether you’re already an active walker, a Fitbit addict, or looking to start a new walking habit (and get paid for it!), this post is for you.
Getting Paid to Walk: How Does it Work?
There are two main methods to incorporate paid walking into your daily routine:
- Activity-related apps that reimburse you based on your steps taken.
- As part of a job performing specific tasks.
For example, you could walk to work or hit the gym more often to add more steps to your daily count. Besides improving your activity level, your goal here would be to increase your daily steps as much as possible to maximize your earnings.
On the other hand, you could start a side gig or get a job where walking is a main component of how you complete your work duties. In this instance, your main goal isn’t to increase your steps but to finish your work-related tasks. It just happens that walking is part of the work.
Let’s discuss the options so you get a full picture of what getting paid to walk could look like for you!
Make Money Walking: My Top 10 Ideas
I put together my 10 favorite ideas from this post into this quick video. Enjoy!
Apps that Pay You to Walk
As I just mentioned, if you’re looking to boost your activity level, then you can hook into an app for your smartphone to get paid for the steps you take. Walk more, earn more.
However, in some cases, that payment isn’t in money but goods or services. Nevertheless, you’re earning something for an activity you’re already doing, so why not? Seems like a no-brainer to me!
Since these all run in the background, it might make sense to install a few to see if you can “double dip” on your walks.
StepBet takes advantage of gamification to inspire its users to increase their activity. If you’re competitive and like to challenge yourself, this app is a winner!
A friend of mine reported earning around $150 a year with StepBet.
How it works is you choose a game to accomplish your step goals. Then, you bet on yourself to meet those goals. If you hit your own step goals every week for the entire game, you divide the “pot” with the other winners. That means you win back your own investment plus profit. However, if you fail to reach your weekly goal, you’re out of the running.
This is a highly motivational way to earn money for walking. Since you’ve got skin in the game, you’ll enjoy the accountability and community that StepBet provides. Plus, who doesn’t like a cash prize?!
StepBet works on both iPhone and Android phones. It works with a variety of different fitness trackers, including FitBit, Garmin, Samsung Health, Apple Watch, Apple Health, and Google Fit. Let the games begin!
The Achievement app offers many ways to earn points, including walking, meditating, and logging meals.
It works by connecting with over 20 apps to track your activity, including:
- Apple Health
- Samsung Health
- and more
You can earn up to 80 points a day for each type of activity. There are also opportunities to earn bonus points through “Offers,” which includes things like surveys, health programs, and research studies.
Achievement pays $10 for every 10,000 points you earn and pays within one week through PayPal, direct deposit, or Giftrocket. You can also donate your points to charity.
SweatCoin is a free app (iOS and Android) that pays you to walk outside.
Although you don’t get paid in cash, you can use the app’s SweatCoin currency to redeem products, services, or experiences.
In the future, you may be able to use SweatCoins as an accepted form of payment according to the company. You also have the option to give your SweatCoins to a charity if you choose.
FitFetti is a free fitness app for iOS. (There’s currently a waitlist for Android users.)
With this app, you earn rewards in credit, money, free products, or discounts for meeting your weekly step goals. The companies and people that participate in the program are called your sponsors. They provide your inspiration and the incentives – or the “fetti.”
After you sign up, you receive your first sponsorship. Then, each week that you achieve your step or active minutes goals, you unlock more sponsorships to access additional items from participants in the program.
There’s a social aspect to this app in that you can invite people to join and send support messages to redeem more fetti. Additionally, friends, family or even your employer could sponsor your fitness journey.
FitFett uses Apple’s Health Kit and/or Fitbit to track your activity. If your sponsors pledge money, it’s paid with Amazon Credits or PayPal.
With the FitPotato app for iOS, you can earn money for walking and running.
After you set up your account, you select a group to join and make a “Commitment.” A group Commitment is a certain number of steps or sessions for a one week time period. You pay an entry fee for the Commitment, which must be paid upfront before joining a group.
Using the FitPotato app, you sync and record your activity to be eligible for the weekly prize. If you meet your goal, you receive an equal distribution of the weekly prize.
According to their terms, it looks like FitPotato issues an account credit for the value of the reward. If you want the value of the prize money, you’ll need to send them a written request and they’ll transfer the amount to you.
If you’re interested in a more robust health tracking program, CircleCare may interest you. This app tracks more than just your daily walking. It offers medication reminders, communities, health condition monitoring, and even a corporate wellness program.
The rewards system is based on CarePoints. You earn CarePoints from five different categories:
- health monitoring
- health education
For each category, there are different goals to accomplish with corresponding points. For instance, when you meet your daily walking goal, you receive 50 CarePoints. You receive 100 CarePoints for reaching a walking milestone. The downside is that you’re not collecting points per step.
Once you reach certain CarePoint totals, you’re eligible for rewards. Rewards include items such as vacation, fitness equipment, food, and massage.
LifeCoin is an app that rewards you for walking or running. Each time you walk outside, LifeCoin automatically counts your steps and converts them into LifeCoins. You may redeem your LifeCoins for gift cards, sporting goods, gadgets, and more.
Connect with your friends on LifeCoin to see how they’re doing with their progress to keep each other motivated. You’ll receive five LifeCoins for every person you refer to the app.
LifeCoin is free and available to both iOS and Android users. Some potential drawbacks to the app are that it uses up battery and that it takes a long time to collect enough LifeCoins to generate rewards. But then again, it’s basically free money.
Winwalk is as basic as it gets for an activity app. There’s no GPS, no email, and no login. The app is a simple pedometer that uses a smartphone’s built-in sensor to track both your indoor and outdoor steps without accessing anything else on your phone.
For Android only, Winwalk is a free app that rewards you with one “coin” for every 100 steps you walk. You exchange those coins for e-gift cards from retailers such as Amazon, Target, Starbucks, and Walmart.
The daily limit for coins is 100 (or 10,000 steps). And, you have to manually collect your coins to add them to your wallet each day before midnight. Otherwise, you lose that day’s coins.
It would take several months to accumulate enough coins to get a low dollar gift card. Even so, you’re walking every day anyway, so you may as well put those steps to use.
Lympo is another free app that allows you to earn money for walking. By completing local walking or running challenges, you earn rewards that you can use to purchase gift cards and products from an in-app marketplace.
The challenges can be completed indoors and outdoors. After completing a challenge, Lympo automatically deposits your reward in your in-app wallet so that it’s ready to use whenever you want.
Get Paid to Walk the Pounds Off
If you’re trying to lose weight, then take a look at HealthyWage.
You pick your weight loss goal, bet on yourself, and win money if you make your goal. In this scenario, walking can help you lose weight, meet your goal, and get paid to do it.
To discover more about this program, read my review on HealthyWage.
Get Paid to Walk Doing Deliveries or Errands
Another way to make money while you’re on the move is to run errands and complete odd jobs for others. This is a broad category that includes making deliveries, shopping, and picking up dry cleaning.
Your earning power is much higher here than with the apps above, but it’s also more work.
Postmates is an app for both iOS and Android that delivers groceries, alcohol, drycleaning, takeout, and more to a customer’s door in under an hour.
As a member of the Postmates’ Fleet, you deliver food or packages to customers.
After you download the app, sign up and join the Fleet, you can to work whenever you please. You’ll need to pass a background check as well as provide your bank details and proof of identity. Then you’ll receive a free delivery bag and a prepaid card to pay for orders that weren’t prepaid.
There are no fees, and you keep 100% of your tips. Postmates pays per completed leg of delivery via direct deposit.
Here’s our full Postmates review for more.
DoorDash delivers restaurant food in over 4,000 cities in the U.S., Canada, and Australia.
Deliverers — or “Dashers” — are able to use any mode of transportation to make the deliveries, including your own two feet. Besides transportation, you only need a smartphone to download and use the app to begin.
If you’re interested in this option, check out my DoorDash review. (Over there, you’ll find my video interview with Dasher Kevin, who primarily delivers by bike.)
Shopping for people’s groceries will certainly boost your daily steps with all of that walking up and down the aisles. Instacart connects customers with shoppers to deliver fresh groceries to their door.
As an Instacart shopper, you have two options. You can either shop and deliver orders as an independent contractor (car required). Or, you can shop orders within a store as a part-time employee (no car required).
Check out my full Instacart shopper review for more details.
Shipt delivers items from grocery stores as well as local and national retailers like Target, CVS, or Petco.
As a Shipt shopper, you can work as much or as little as you want and earn up to $22/hour. A car and insurance are required plus you need to be able to lift 40 pounds.
TaskRabbit is an on-demand errand-running service.
As a “Tasker” you can earn money in your spare time completing real-world tasks, including shopping, delivery, lawn mowing, and oodles of other activities that involve walking.
Favor delivers anything to their customers, ranging from meals and groceries to dry cleaning, through the use of personal assistants called “runners.”
As a runner, you will run around completing errands and deliveries for about $10-$18/hour on average plus tips.
Get Paid to Distribute Flyers
This idea originated from a Side Hustle Show listener in Canada, who gets paid to walk door-to-door delivering flyers for local businesses.
He said his flyer distribution business was earning him $100k a year on the side while giving him a serious walking workout! (20,000+ steps a day.)
Get Paid to Walk Through Sponsored Activity Programs
You may have access to a health and wellness program as part of your insurance plan or through your employee. These programs lower costs for companies while improving the health of their members, so it’s a win all around.
Ours is through my wife’s work and if we’re diligent about using the provided pedometer, it’s worth around $250 apiece.
Here are some of the bigger programs.
UnitedHealthcare Motion® is a program that pays members to walk to earn money for out-of-pocket medical expenses and lower medical premiums.
As a UnitedHealthcare member, you and an enrolled spouse can earn annual financial rewards for things like copays, prescriptions, and deductibles. The program follows your activity through a complimentary activity tracker that works with a free mobile app. You earn money for each walking goal you achieve.
Vitality is a wellness program that integrates wearables like the Apple Watch with a mobile app to track activity and reward members for healthy behavior, such as walking. Based on your level of engagement, you earn points that are redeemable for incentives, including gift cards.
Some Humana members may be eligible to participate in the Go365 wellness and rewards program.
Members are rewarded for certain activities such as annual wellness visits, flu shots, community events, and steps. Rewards are redeemable for gift cards at Walmart, Amazon, Shell and other places.
Get Paid to Walk as a Tour Guide
Do you really enjoy living in your city and like talking about it to others?
(A couple Side Hustle Show guests were earning around $50k a year doing this as a side hustle!)
Here are a couple of other ways to earn money while walking the city as a tour guide.
Context Travel offers cultural and historical guided tours in more than 60 locations all over the world. Their focus is to deliver conversation-driven learning experiences for travelers.
Guides are professors, students, architects, archeologists, historians, artists, ecologists, and other experts who speak English, hold a higher degree or equivalent credential, and have a license to lead tours (where required).
Experts work on a freelance basis according to their schedules and area of expertise. Opportunities vary depending on openings.
Rent a Local Friend
For those who love to travel, Rent a Local Friend offers authentic experiences based on a community of people who share a passion for traveling, stories, and different cultures. Tour guides, or “Local Friends,” are locals, journalists, photographers, chefs, designers, and immigrants who share their way of living and seeing the city.
As a Local Friend, you make extra money by sharing your own expertise and stories about your favorite local spots with others in the community who want to experience the city through your eyes.
The downside? You’ll pay an annual subscription fee of $144 to participate in the program. This provides you with your own Local Friend page where you independently promote your tours and set your own prices.
Tours By Locals
Tours By Locals offers private, unique, customized, and trouble-free tours to travelers in 162 countries.
As a local guide, Tours By Locals will market your tours and pair you up with travelers searching for guides in your part of the world. The platform offers an online booking system that allows you to manage requests, tours, and payments to free you up for delivering tours. In exchange for using their network, Tours By Locals takes a percentage of your tour bookings.
The Sidewalk app offers free, guided walking tours created by locals who want to share stories, insight, experiences, and personal knowledge.
You can create your own tour on Sidewalk by setting up a profile, planning a route, and sharing your walk to promote it. Walks are ideally 30 minutes to 2 hours long. The way you make money is earning tips, and Sidewalk keeps a percentage of those tips.
Since your compensation is based solely on tips, the more insider suggestions and engaging stories you offer, the better you’ll do.
Get Paid to Walk as a Caregiver or Companion
There’s no shortage of people who need help taking care of kids, seniors, pets, and houses. While you wouldn’t walk as your sole activity, caregiving can include lots of tasks that keep you on your feet and moving.
Visiting Angels provides non-medical, in-home care for seniors. Caregiving helps aging adults to keep their independence while still living at home.
This job requires more than task completion. You’ll need to support seniors with emotional, social, and physical support in a way that maintains the dignity of the individual.
Interested in babysitting, senior care or other caregiving jobs? Take a look at Care.com to find high quality caregiver jobs and benefits.
CareLinx helps caregivers find clients. Caregivers get to manage their own jobs, including schedules and salary. In addition, CareLinx offers benefits, such as liability insurance, health insurance, training, and more.
Honor specializes in home care for adults. Jobs require at least six months of paid caregiving experience.
Sittercity is a huge marketplace for child care as well as senior care and pet sitting. The platform connects a family with a sitter every nine seconds. Rates usually fall in the $15-20/hour range.
UrbanSitter uses the power of social networks to connect parents with sitters. You set your own hours and keep 100% of your earnings. Top sitters earn over $1000 a week.
An app based childcare service, Helpr connects parents and sitters. But employers sometimes subsidize the care. At least two years of professional childcare are required.
Get Paid to Walk Dogs
If you love being active and around dogs, then dog walking and sitting are great for earning extra money.
Earn $20-$60 a night pet sitting (aka boarding in your home) for others in your town with Rover. Basically, it’s Airbnb for dogs; you set your own rates and availability, and Rover handles the payments and covers insurance and vet assistance.
Dog sitting is a serious business and several people report earning $1000 a month from it. The platform also supports dog walking and doggy day care.
Earn up to $25 an hour as a Wag Walker, taking pups for strolls in your spare time. Plus, Wag donates money from walks to feed shelter dogs, so you’re not only earning money but helping canines in need.
Set up your own pet care business through the Tailster platform. Choose your services, set your own rates, and work the hours you choose. You keep 80% of your earnings while the other 20% help with marketing, administration, management, payment processing, and insurance.
Pet Waste Removal
Speaking of dogs, if you don’t mind scooping poop, consider pet waste removal. Although there are franchise opportunities, you can start your own business picking up dog poop in your local area.
Read about how Erica Krupin started a pet waste removal business in her spare time and now averages over $1,000 a week!
Get Paid to Walk as a Mystery Shopper
A mystery shopper visits various businesses posing as a real customer to collect market research. Often the work is performed in person at a physical location. That means you get paid to shop and to walk!
The Field Agent app connects businesses that need retail information, shopper insights, and digital product demos with on-demand workers looking to make a little extra money.
As a Field Agent, you use your smartphone to collect photos, video, and information about retail operations, products, and shoppers. The app helps you find tasks, such as completing surveys, taking photos, or trying out products.
Each task pays $3-12. Payments are made through direct deposit.
Check out our full Field Agent review for more.
Gigwalk helps businesses collect data and manage a remote workforce. Brands and retailers post gigs (or tasks) for on-the-ground visibility into their products or events. Gigwalkers perform the tasks and manage their work via the Gigwalk mobile app.
All payments are securely processed from the customer through Paypal.
BestMark is one of the nation’s first and largest mystery shopping service providers for all types of companies across a wide range of industries. As a mystery shopper, you will pose as a customer and perform specific tasks.
BestMark mystery shoppers are independent contractors who are paid based on assignments. Payment is made through PayPal, direct deposit, or gift card about three to four weeks after assignment completion.
Other Mystery Shopping Opportunities:
- Market Force – Get paid to eat and shop in your local area and report back via a mobile app.
- Intelli-shop – Assignments include shopping in a store, calling a call center, or visiting a website. Requires a five minute screening test. Payments are made on the 20th of each month via PayPal.
- Secret Shopper – Mystery shopper requirements include access to a computer, access to a digital camera or scanner, and availability to complete assignments by noon Central time the day after the assignment date.
- GBW Solutions – A flexible work schedule means assignments can be performed morning, night, weekends, between errands or on a lunch break. Compensation is made in the form of cash payments, purchase discounts, and/or reimbursements.
- Ipsos – Choose from mystery shopping opportunities in person, over the phone, or online. Perform your task then submit an online survey afterward. Payment is via PayPal 7-10 days after your survey is approved.
Get Paid to Pick Up Litter
Brian Winch equates his litter pick-up service as “making money going for a walk.”
Now a $650k a year operation, his business started as a side hustle performing the very basic task of picking up litter.
Check out Brian’s interview to learn more about how you can earn $30-$50 an hour picking up trash.
In bottle and can recycling redemption states, you can turn that trash into treasure as well.
Get Paid to Walk with a Treadmill Desk?
For years, I worked at least part of my days from a treadmill desk. It’s a great way to get some steps in while you’re still at your computer, and could be a way for freelancers to “get paid to walk.”
It felt great to be making money and getting some exercise at the same time.
Have you considered the ways in which you could turn walking into a more lucrative activity?
What’s nice about many of the options I’ve mentioned here is that you don’t have to change too much about your lifestyle to start seeing the perks. Plus, you could get creative and combine more than one of these ideas to get paid more — but for the same amount of effort!
Do you have any unconventional or interesting ideas for how you could get paid to walk?
Let me know in the comments!
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Frequently Asked Questions
Can you really get paid to walk?
Yes, with a little creativity and a little technology, you can turn your walking habit into a side income stream. Some entrepreneurial walkers are earning up to $1000 a week giving tours, picking up trash, or walking dogs. Check the full post on Side Hustle Nation for more ideas.
What apps pay you for walking?
Popular apps like Achievement and Sweatcoin track your movement using your phone and reward you with in-app points. Other apps like StepBet allow you to set walking goals and compete against others for cash. Check the full post on Side Hustle Nation for more ways to make money walking.
What are some creative ways to walk for money?
Some of my favorites include giving local walking tours, picking up dog poop in your neighborhood, and mystery shopping. I even interviewed a guy who turned his parking lot litter pick-up business into a $600,000 a year operation. Check out Side Hustle Nation for more ways to get paid to walk.
Big thanks to Meghan Monaghan for contributing to this post!