Gameification: Et motiverende hjælpemiddel i sundhedskampagner målrettet børn og unge

Ditte-Marie Kristensen Bjørn

Student thesis: Master thesis


Danish children are living physically inactive lives as a consequence of the digital era, in which play and games have moved to digital devices such as smartphones and tablets. At the same time, the Danish Health Authority is trying to change the children’s inactive behaviour by promoting information campaigns about the importance of exercise and physical activity. However, reports show that the campaigns do not change the children’s behaviour. Based on this problematic situation, this thesis proposes a new solution to changing children’s physically inactive behaviour. This proposal is called gamification, and taps right into the children’s digital lives. This thesis thus studies how the Danish Health Authority, by promoting a gamified exercise app, can motivate children to be more physically active. The scope of this thesis is thus to provide the Danish Health Authority with some strategic directions on how to build this gamified exercise app. In order to solve the problem statement, the thesis studies in more details the digital lives of children; their consumption of digital media and their digital habits. Moreover, it studies which game-design elements particularly motivate children, and how children interact with exercise apps and game apps. The thesis demonstrates that children are zappers who switch from app to app and easily get bored. Their main digital consumption consists of app games, and social media. The thesis demonstrates that social interaction is the children’s primary motivator, when it comes to exercise and interacting with digital channels, and the school class being their primary social network. Furthermore, the boys are in particular driven by competition and motivated by the game-design element challenges. On the basis of these findings, the thesis propose strategic directions on which game-design elements the exercise app should focus on, in order to motivate the children, which technical specifications to be aware of, and lastly, how the app should be implemented to be a successful tool that can motivate physical activity. The thesis recommends that the exercise app focuses on creating a social network within and around the app, and use challenges as the main game-design element to motivate children. It furthermore proposes that the virtual rewards can be exchanged to genuine real-life rewards or that the children themselves can choose among different virtual rewards. The app must regularly be updated to avoid that the zapping children get bored. The tracker of the exercise app should be integrated in a cool bracelet, and the app should have a visual appealing layout with measurements that are easy for children to decode. Lastly, for the app to be a successful tool in changing the children’s’ physically inactive lifestyle, the implementation must be well executed. The thesis advises a close collaboration with schools and teachers. Moreover, integrating the app in the children’s teaching will ensure a broader and deeper implementation. The thesis contributes to a new and modern perspective on health promotion campaigns towards children, in which gamification, as a product of the digital era, is seen as a helpful tool

EducationsMA in International Business Communication (Intercultural Marketing), (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages94