The Generative Mechanisms Behind Technology-enabled Health Behavior Change

Annamina Rieder, Christiane Lehrer, Yeliz Eseryel, Reinhard Jung

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingArticle in proceedingsResearchpeer-review


Wearables are used to help motivate individuals to trade their unhealthful behaviors for beneficial ones, thereby preventing the diseases of affluence, which are caused by a sedentary lifestyle. However, inconclusive study results regarding the effectiveness of wearables raise questions about the outcomes of using wearables. Research on the topic paints an ambiguous picture regarding the support wearables offer users in performing beneficial health-related behaviors, leaving the underlying mechanisms of wearable use and its outcomes unexplained. We seek to fill this gap in the literature by means of a critical realist study based on thirty narrative interviews with long-term users of wearables. By identifying seven generative mechanisms that drive users’ interactions with wearables and the subsequent cognitive and behavioral outcomes of that use, we answer the research question concerning how and why users’ interactions with wearables can facilitate positive behavioral and cognitive outcomes. The study makes several contributions to theory and practice.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationProceedings of the 29th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS)
Number of pages16
Place of PublicationAtlanta, GA
PublisherAssociation for Information Systems. AIS Electronic Library (AISeL)
Publication date2021
Article number56
Publication statusPublished - 2021
EventThe 29th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2021: Human Values Crisis in a Digitizing World - Virtual Conference, Marrackech, Morocco
Duration: 14 Jun 202114 Jun 2021
Conference number: 29


ConferenceThe 29th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS) 2021
LocationVirtual Conference
Internet address
SeriesProceedings of the European Conference on Information Systems


  • Wearable
  • Health
  • Behavior change
  • Generative Mechanism
  • Critical realism

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