Healthcare Informatics & Health Information Technology (SIG Health)

Paper Type

Complete

Paper Number

1336

Description

The use of health and fitness apps has been on the rise to monitor personal fitness and health parameters. However, recent research discovered that many users discontinue using these apps after only a few months. Gamification has been suggested as a technique to increase users' interactions with the apps. Nevertheless, it is still not clear how gamification mechanisms encourage continued use and inspire user self-management. Based on identity theories, this study suggests the fully mediating role of IT identity to describe how gamification elements can lead to continued intention to use health and fitness apps and increased users' tendency for information sharing through the apps. We collect data from 364 users of health and fitness apps through an online survey to examine the proposed model. The finding indicates that perceived gamification can increase users' IT identity. In turn, a higher IT identity would encourage users to continue using the apps and share more personal health information with others through the apps. The results of this study can have practical implications for app designers to use gamification elements to increase users' dependency, relatedness, and emotional energy associated with health apps. Moreover, the findings can have theoretical contributions for researchers to help them better articulate the process in which gamification can be translated into positive use behaviors.

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Aug 9th, 12:00 AM

The effects of gamification on the post-adoption behaviors of health and fitness apps’ users: the mediating role of IT identity

The use of health and fitness apps has been on the rise to monitor personal fitness and health parameters. However, recent research discovered that many users discontinue using these apps after only a few months. Gamification has been suggested as a technique to increase users' interactions with the apps. Nevertheless, it is still not clear how gamification mechanisms encourage continued use and inspire user self-management. Based on identity theories, this study suggests the fully mediating role of IT identity to describe how gamification elements can lead to continued intention to use health and fitness apps and increased users' tendency for information sharing through the apps. We collect data from 364 users of health and fitness apps through an online survey to examine the proposed model. The finding indicates that perceived gamification can increase users' IT identity. In turn, a higher IT identity would encourage users to continue using the apps and share more personal health information with others through the apps. The results of this study can have practical implications for app designers to use gamification elements to increase users' dependency, relatedness, and emotional energy associated with health apps. Moreover, the findings can have theoretical contributions for researchers to help them better articulate the process in which gamification can be translated into positive use behaviors.