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Gamification in a physical activity app

Tijdschriftbijdrage - Tijdschriftartikel

Ondertitel:what gamification features are being used, by whom, and does it make a difference?
Background: Gamification is purported to enhance engagement with health behavior apps, ultimately improving their effectiveness. This study aimed to examine (1) whether the inclusion of gamification features in a physical activity smartphone app was associated with improved app usage and goal adherence, describe (2) use of the gamification features, and (3) by whom, and determine (4) whether engagement was associated with increased physical activity. Methods: Data from community-dwelling adult participants (mean age 42.1 years, standard deviation [SD 11.9], 74% female) in the gamified (n = 134) and nongamified (n = 155) conditions from a three-group randomized controlled trial were analyzed. Physical activity was assessed at baseline and 9 months using a survey and accelerometers. App usage (number of days steps were logged), goal adherence (number of days step count was ≥10,000), and behavioral engagement with gamification features were obtained from server logs. Multilevel modeling was used to examine the study aims. Results: Participants who received the gamified app showed more days of usage than those who received the nongamified app (M = 113 days [SD 88] vs. M = 81 days [SD 54], P = 0.006), whereas goal adherence did not differ between groups. The leaderboard and “status” gamification features were the most frequently used gamification features (M = 83 [SD 114] and M = 50 [SD 67] views, respectively). Older age (P = 0.008) and lower body mass index (P = 0.004) were associated with more status views. Participants who reported higher stress symptoms sent more gifts (P = 0.04). The use of gamification features was associated with increased physical activity (P = 0.04). Conclusion: The gamified app was used substantially longer than the nongamified app. Use of gamification features was positively associated with change in physical activity. Leaderboards promoting social comparison may be a promising form of gamification. Research on different forms of gamification is warranted.
Tijdschrift: Games for Health Journal
ISSN: 2161-7856
Volume: 11
Pagina's: 1 - 7
Jaar van publicatie:2022
Trefwoorden:A1 Journal article
Embargoed until:03/05/2023