Special Issue "Personal Health, Fitness Technologies, and Games"

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Derek L. Hansen
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Guest Editor
IT & Cybersecurity, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT 84604, USA
Interests: human computer interaction; serious games; educational simulations; social network analysis; social media
Dr. Jerry Alan Fails
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Guest Editor
Department of Computer Science, Boise State University in Boise, ID, USA
Interests: human-computer interaction; participatory design; technologies with and for children; online search tools for children; security and privacy for children; fitness technologies for children

Special Issue Information

Dear colleagues,

Despite good intentions, we rarely live up to our health and fitness aspirations. Although technology is often seen as a cause of unhealthy and inactive lifestyles, it can also help us achieve our goals and have fun in the process. New technologies offer a range of technologies and platforms on which to innovate: health and fitness trackers, exergames, smartwatches, mobile apps, social websites, augmented reality, embedded systems, and more. The aims of these technologies are equally diverse: they help users track activity; they entertain or distract us from the physical activity; they encourage engagement with the outdoors; they educate people about health needs or best practices; or they persuasively encourage better health and fitness activities through technologically enabled support mechanisms including social interactions, challenges, narratives, or goal setting and accomplishments. The aim of this Issue is to share research that relates to health and fitness technologies that benefit users from various perspectives.

Dr. Derek L. Hansen
Dr. Jerry Alan Fails
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Multimodal Technologies and Interaction is an international peer-reviewed open access quarterly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • fitness technologies
  • personal health applications
  • fitness games
  • exergames
  • physical activity
  • augmented reality
  • outdoor technology
  • persuasive technologies

Published Papers (2 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Gender Preference and Difference in Behavior Modeling in Fitness Applications: A Mixed-Method Approach
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(2), 21; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4020021 - 22 May 2020
Abstract
In recent years, the employment of behavior models to motivate behavior change has become a global trend in fitness application design. However, there is hardly any large-scale study of these applications to understand users’ exercise-type preferences, their drivers and barriers, and the potential [...] Read more.
In recent years, the employment of behavior models to motivate behavior change has become a global trend in fitness application design. However, there is hardly any large-scale study of these applications to understand users’ exercise-type preferences, their drivers and barriers, and the potential of employing them for gender-based tailoring. To bridge this gap, we conducted a mixed-method study among 669 participants to investigate users’ exercise-type preferences (their drivers and barriers) and how they and gender can impact users’ social-cognitive beliefs and projected performance of bodyweight exercises. Firstly, we presented to the study participants a behavior model performing push-up or squat bodyweight exercise in a fitness application and asked them to rate their perceived self-efficacy, self-regulation, outcome expectation, and projected (exercise) performance level as observers of the behavior model. Secondly, we presented the study participants with a preselected list of commonly employed exercise types in fitness applications and requested them to identify their most/least preferred, and the reasons behind their choices. Our results showed that there were differences between both genders in their exercise-type preferences, perceived self-efficacy and projected exercise performance level. Males prefer push-up, squat, crunch, plank, and chair dip the most, with effectiveness being the most important driver, followed by ease of performance and improvement of the physique, look, and appearance. On the other hand, females prefer squat, crunch, jumping jack, step up, and plank the most, with ease of performance being the most important driver, followed by improvement of the physique, look, appearance, and effectiveness. Moreover, males prefer running in place the least, while females prefer push-up the least, with perceived difficulty being the greatest barrier for both genders. Moreover, our analysis of variance supported the female’s least preference for a push-up. Females have a lower perceived self-efficacy and projected performance level for push-up than males. We discussed the implications of our findings and provided guidelines for tailoring fitness applications on the market to users’ preferences and gender. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Health, Fitness Technologies, and Games)
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Open AccessArticle
Persuasive Features that Drive the Adoption of a Fitness Application and the Moderating Effect of Age and Gender
Multimodal Technologies Interact. 2020, 4(2), 17; https://doi.org/10.3390/mti4020017 - 11 May 2020
Abstract
Fitness apps equipped with various persuasive features have become popular worldwide due to the physical inactivity crisis. However, there is a limited understanding of the most important persuasive features that drive their adoption and the moderating effect of age and gender. To bridge [...] Read more.
Fitness apps equipped with various persuasive features have become popular worldwide due to the physical inactivity crisis. However, there is a limited understanding of the most important persuasive features that drive their adoption and the moderating effect of age and gender. To bridge this gap, we designed storyboards illustrating six of the commonly employed persuasive strategies in persuasive health applications: Goal-Setting/Self-Monitoring, Reward, Social Learning, Social Comparison, Competition and Cooperation. We conducted an empirical study in which we asked the participants to evaluate their receptiveness to the six persuasive features and their intention to use a fitness app that features them. The result of our Partial Least Square Path Modeling (PLSPM) shows that, overall, Goal-Setting/Self-Monitoring is the strongest predictor of the intention to use a fitness app, followed by Reward and Competition, both of which are in second place. However, Social Learning and Social Comparison turn out to be non-predictors of intention to use. Based on these findings, we recommend that a minimally viable (one-size-fits-all) fitness app, in a personal setting, should support a Goal-Setting/Self-Monitoring feature, coupled with a Reward feature, to increase its appeal to a wide audience. Moreover, in a social setting, it should support a Competition feature to increase its appeal to a wide audience. We discuss these findings and the gender and age differences in the relationships between users’ receptiveness to the six persuasive features and their intention to use a fitness app that support them. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Personal Health, Fitness Technologies, and Games)
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