Physical activity program with Competition and Gamification as driving forces

Physical activity program with Competition and Gamification as driving forces

Physical Activity Program With Competition And Gamification As Driving Forces

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Research from Penn Medicine and Deloitte Consulting LLP using a behaviorally designed gamification program to improve the level of exercise. The researchers found that competition was more engaging to increase the daily step counts than support or collaboration. The focus was directed on combining behavioural insights from gaming elements with social elements or competition. To boost the results in a workplace’s physical activity program. And also the impact of using wearable devices to improve wellness. Mitesh Patel, MD, MBA, the director of Penn Medicine’s Nudge Unit, comments the outcome of the research in the following way:

“We found that a behaviorally designed gamification program led to significant increases in physical activity compared to a control group that used wearable devices alone. During the nine-month trial, the average person in the competition arm walked about 100 miles more than the average person in control.”

The physical activity program

The research program included 600 Deloitte employees from all over the US. All participants were classified as obese or overweight and received personally adapted step-goals. Besides using wearables focus groups also was built around a social element. It included one collaborative- and one competitive- and one control group. Three months after the program had ended only the competitive group continued to increase its step count. Patel continues:

“Most interventions are designed as one-size-fits-all, in which a single intervention is deployed to a large population. Even if the program works on average, many participants may not benefit. Our next step will be to use data from this trial to develop behavioral profiles that could be used in the future to match the right intervention to the right person.”

Written by
LarsGoran Bostrom©

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