Gamified activity trackers are being used by millions of people to assist in changing their daily habits, increasing levels of physical activity and improving overall health and wellbeing. For such goals to be achieved, individuals need to sustain these new habits over time. While existing research has demonstrated that these devices can be effective in changing behaviour in the short term, little is known about their ability to aid in transitioning behavioural change into ongoing habit. This research-in-progress study is exploratory and studies how the use of gamified activity trackers may help in creating sustainable behavioural changes associated with physical activity. Employing the repertory grid technique, we interviewed 15 activity tracker users to explore the barriers to sustained exercise habits as well as the capability of activity trackers to produce long-term sustainable behavioural changes. The preliminary findings revealed gamified activity trackers were effective in temporarily increasing exercise behaviour, however they failed to address key habit-forming requirements (that of association development and context stability).
Islam, Shakir; Cahalane, Michael; and Finnegan, Patrick, "Making Physical Activity A Habit: Using Gamified Physical Activity Trackers to Sustain Behaviour" (2021). ECIS 2021 Research-in-Progress Papers. 43.
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