Science Center

The science behind WW FitPoints 2.0

Why encourage physical activity? “Physical activity” is what occurs any time that the body moves beyond the activities done as part of a normal day.

Regular physical activity is good for health and helps individuals achieve what WW likes to call “non-scale victories”. 1,2,3,4 These benefits of physical activity include:

Physical Psychological

Reduced risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Some types of cancers

Other benefits:

  • Increasing muscle tone
  • May minimize the loss of muscle mass while losing weight5
  • Increasing stamina for daily activities
  • Reduction in body weight
  • Improved maintenance of weight loss


  • Self-esteem
  • Sleep quality
  • Feelings of depression
  • Mood
  • Quality of life8
  • Confidence
  • Ability to manage stress

In addition to these health benefits, the scientific literature suggests that changing what a person eats and increasing  physical activity leads to 20 percent greater weight loss than changing eating habits alone.1,2,4 Additionally, physical activity may be the single best predictor of who keeps weight off and who doesn’t.6


What is the FitPoints 2.0 system?

Just like we have SmartPoints® for food, we have FitPoints® for activity. It's our way of measuring how much you move, and is much smarter than counting steps, measuring distance, or tracking time. FitPoints actually helps you see which activities will help you get stronger, fitter, and heart healthier.

Upon signing up, members answer a physical activity questionnaire which determines their personalized Weekly FitPoints goal. It’s designed to help members see just how much they’re moving each day, and encourage them to move more. Their goal is totally flexible - it can bumped up or down any time by going to Settings

Members earn FitPoints for all types of movement, whether it’s a walk around the block, hitting the weight room at the gym, or flowing in a yoga class, every bit counts. Members even earn them for “exercise in disguise": gardening, running around with the kids, and even walking around the mall all count.

Built on the latest scientific research, FitPoints 2.0 are unique to each individual—based on their height, weight, age and sex—so members know exactly how each activity benefits their body. FitPoints emphasize best-for-you activities, and members earn more FitPoints in less time when they engage in strength-training and higher-intensity activities vs. lower-intensity activities. 

How does WW encourage members to move more?

Our physical activity interventions lean on insights from a variety of national and global public health guidellines.9,10,11 We encourage members to be active daily, gradually building their activity level, try a variety of activities (including endurance, high intensity and strength training) and find ways to incorporate movement into their daily lives.

Most importantly, we also encourage members to find ways to move for pleasure, not because they “should.” Research has shown that when individuals move in ways they enjoy, they’re more likely to make activity a part of their life.12 Research has also found that individuals who engaged in physical activity for pleasure were more likely to lose weight and sustain the weight loss over time, compared to those who moved for “exercise”. In the same study, individuals who were active with the goal to improve quality of life moved significantly more than those with weight-loss goals.13

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1Pronk NP, Wing RR. (1994). Physical activity and long-term maintenance of weight loss. Obes Res. 2(6): 587-599.

2Curioni CC, Lourenço PM. (2005). Long-term weight loss after diet and exercise: a systematic review. Int J Obes. (Lond) 29(10):1168-74.

3Wadden TA, - et al. (2012). Lifestyle modification for obesity: new developments in diet, physical activity, and behavior therapy. Circulation. 125(9): 1157-1170.

4Jakicic JM. (2002). The role of physical activity in prevention and treatment of body weight gain in adults. J Nutr. 132(2): 3826S-3829S.

5Stiegler P, Cunliffe A. (2006). The role of diet and exercise for the maintenance of fat-free mass and resting metabolic rate during weight loss. Sports Med. 36(3): 239-262.

6Penedo FJ, Dahn JR. (2005). Exercise and well-being: a review of mental and physical health benefits associated with physical activity. Curr Opin Psychiatry.18(2):189-193.

7 Scully D, et al. (1998). Physical exercise and psychological well being: a critical review. Br J Sports Med. 32:111-120.

8Gill DL, et al. (2013). Physical Activity and Quality of Life. J Prev Med Public Health. 46: S28-S34.

9World Health Organization. Global recommendations on physical activity for health. 2010. Accessed March 21, 2018 at:

10National Institute for Health and Care Excellence. Fact Sheet 4: Physical activity guidelines for adults (19-64 years). 2015. Accessed March 21, 2018 at:

11U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, 2nd edition. Washington, DC: US Department of Health and Human Services; 2018. Available at

12Segar ML. (2015). No Sweat: How the Simple Science of Motivation Can Bring You a Lifetime of Fitness. AMACOM American Management Association.

13Segar ML, Eccles JS, Richardson CR. (2011). Rebranding exercise: closing the gap between values and behavior. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 8: 94.