The Effects of Applying Behavior Change Techniques to Fitness Tracking Mobile Applications: An Exploratory Study

Lina Peeva

Student thesis: Master thesis

Abstract

Physical activity is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. In the modern world there are multiple barriers to exercise. Lack of physical activity and poor diet are primary cause of obesity. The prevalence of fitness tracking mobile applications offers an intriguing new method in tackling this problem. However, there is a lack of knowledge regarding the effects on users´ fitness adherence. For this research Endomondo fitness tracking app was studied as an “exemplifying case”. Data was gathered by interviewing its users and analyzing the app´s features in order to find out how behavior change techniques can be applied to motivate users to sustain physical activity. The three most prominent techniques were: “Prompt self-monitoring of behavior”, “Prompt intention formation” and “Provide general encouragement”. The three less prominent techniques were: “Provide information about others´ approval”, “Prompt specific goal setting” and “Provide opportunities for social comparison”. This study indicated that BCTs indeed play a significant role in fitness adherence and that they should be given consideration. The automatic personalized feedback provided by fitness apps can add value by supporting behavior change.

EducationsCand.merc.smc Strategic Market Creation, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
LanguageEnglish
Publication date2016
Number of pages126