Breaking News
April 23, 2019 - Neuroscientists propose new theory about amyloid precursor protein connection in Alzheimer’s
April 23, 2019 - Mediterranean diet protects against overeating and obesity
April 23, 2019 - NUS scientists uncover novel biomarkers linked with ‘chemobrain’
April 23, 2019 - Novel ECCITE-seq technique expands multimodal single cell analysis
April 23, 2019 - Half of all American workplaces offer health and wellness programs
April 23, 2019 - Perinatal Complications Tied to Childhood Social Anxiety
April 23, 2019 - Research reveals how immune cells help tumors escape body’s defenses
April 23, 2019 - UAB receives $17 million grant to explore immune cells in inaccessible tissues of the human body
April 23, 2019 - Opening blocked arteries may be lifesaver for older heart attack patients
April 23, 2019 - Yposkesi chairman to speak on ‘Manufacturing and the CDMO Perspective’ at Cell and Gene Meeting
April 23, 2019 - Listeria Outbreak Linked to Deli Meats, Cheeses in 4 States
April 23, 2019 - Scientists find another way HIV can hide from vaccines
April 23, 2019 - EU ban on ‘meaty’ names for veggie food products would affect public sector
April 23, 2019 - KNAUER self-tests gender pay gap one month after Equal Pay Day
April 23, 2019 - Johns Hopkins study reports overdiagnosis of schizophrenia
April 23, 2019 - New approach to repair defects in fetal membranes could prevent life-long medical conditions
April 23, 2019 - Reviving the heart’s regenerative capacities using microRNAs
April 23, 2019 - New pediatric blood pressure guidelines can better predict kids at higher risk of heart disease
April 23, 2019 - Second HIV remission patient rekindles cure hope
April 23, 2019 - Sparse Treatment Options Complicate Cancer Care For Immigrants In South Texas
April 23, 2019 - Hole-forming protein could help control cancer growth
April 23, 2019 - Study examines factors associated with low use of hearing aids among older Hispanic/Latino adults
April 23, 2019 - Changes to Medicare rules could support care innovation for dialysis
April 23, 2019 - Cancer patients requiring emergency department care have better outcomes at original hospital
April 23, 2019 - Potential of liquid biopsy in cancer biomarker detection and prenatal testing
April 23, 2019 - Researchers identify circulating proteins associated with progression of diabetic kidney disease
April 23, 2019 - Microglia play vital role in regulating neuroinflammation, research shows
April 23, 2019 - Pfizer and Lilly Announce Top-Line Results From Long-Term Phase 3 Study of Tanezumab in Patients With Osteoarthritis
April 23, 2019 - One-month regimen noninferior for preventing HIV-related TB
April 23, 2019 - Educational program for preschoolers successful in instilling heart healthy behaviors
April 23, 2019 - Asia’s diabetes epidemic increases risk of death among women, middle-aged people
April 23, 2019 - First-of-its-kind study highlights lethal impact of medical emergencies worldwide
April 23, 2019 - Workshop explores the future of artificial intelligence in medical imaging
April 23, 2019 - Research shows mindful body awareness training helps women recover from drug addiction
April 23, 2019 - Researchers are developing brand-new method to cure brain tumors
April 23, 2019 - Torrent Pharmaceuticals Limited Expands Voluntary Nationwide Recall of Losartan Potassium Tablets, USP and Losartan Potassium/Hydrochlorothiazide Tablets, USP
April 23, 2019 - First case of person without the protein needed to transport vitamin D identified
April 23, 2019 - Precision-guided anticancer nanoparticles help enhance treatment of peritoneal tumors
April 23, 2019 - Smoking cessation during pregnancy associated with reduced risk of preterm birth
April 23, 2019 - Researchers discover why women get autoimmune diseases far more often than men
April 23, 2019 - New Medicare reimbursement rules provide some relief to safety-net hospitals
April 23, 2019 - Sensory Sensitivity Tied to Constipation in Young Children
April 23, 2019 - More than half of internal medicine graduates choosing primary care
April 22, 2019 - Researchers discover good news for fish populations living on bleached coral reefs
April 22, 2019 - Plant-based diets associated with lower risk of heart failure
April 22, 2019 - Food Allergies Can Strike at Any Age
April 22, 2019 - Cerebro-facio-thoracic dysplasia – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Poverty leaves a mark on our genes
April 22, 2019 - Countdown to Big Data in Precision Health: When industry and academia converge
April 22, 2019 - The U.S government may account for up to $37.8 billion due to opioid epidemic
April 22, 2019 - Improving ACA’s Insurance Coverage Provisions will lead to better care for patients
April 22, 2019 - Study identifies possible therapeutic effects of curcumin on stomach cancer
April 22, 2019 - Hyaline fibromatosis syndrome – Genetics Home Reference
April 22, 2019 - Scientists use CRISPR for possible ‘bubble boy’ therapy
April 22, 2019 - Hematologist (and a mom, singer, actress and much more) stands up for diversity
April 22, 2019 - Novel AI voice tool can help diagnose PTSD
April 22, 2019 - Physical activity may eliminate mortality risk caused by sedentary behavior
April 22, 2019 - Overlooked part of cell’s internal machinery may hold key to treating acute myeloid leukemia
April 22, 2019 - Nursing, medical, and dental students train together to improve pediatric oral health
April 22, 2019 - Soft bedding responsible for majority of sleep-related infant deaths, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Study finds worse health-related quality of life among transgender adults
April 22, 2019 - MIT scientists reverse some behavioral symptoms of rare neurodevelopmental disorder
April 22, 2019 - Scientists find new therapy target for drug-induced liver failure
April 22, 2019 - Opioid dose variability could lead to increased risk of overdose, study suggests
April 22, 2019 - Newly developed model predicts salmonella outbreaks several months in advance
April 22, 2019 - Deep-learning model better predicts survival outcomes for lung cancer
April 22, 2019 - One in Three U.S. Adults Aged 35 to 44 May Have Drinking Problem
April 22, 2019 - Why the measles virus is so contagious
April 22, 2019 - Magnet ‘Zap’ to the Brain Might Jumpstart Aging Memory
April 22, 2019 - Immune response to gut microbes may be early indicator of type 1 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Destination Limbo: Health Suffers Among Asylum Seekers In Crowded Border Shelter
April 22, 2019 - Research shows how dopamine contributes to sex differences in worms
April 22, 2019 - Marijuana users weigh less compared to non-users
April 22, 2019 - Research uncovers critical RNA processing aberrations in ALS and FTD
April 22, 2019 - Many cancer patients use marijuana and prescription opioids, study reveals
April 22, 2019 - Frailty may up fracture risk in patients with type 2 diabetes
April 22, 2019 - Study provides new insight into how obesity, insulin resistance can affect cognition
April 22, 2019 - Study seeks to better understand the genetic causes for hypospadias
April 22, 2019 - FDA grants approval of first generic naloxone nasal spray to treat opioid overdose
April 22, 2019 - FDA authorizes marketing of first medical device to treat ADHD
Tweaking fitness apps to help people sustain workout routine

Tweaking fitness apps to help people sustain workout routine

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

Fitness apps are easy to download and can help motivate people to start workout routines, but that may not be enough to sustain those routines in the long run. However, Penn State researchers suggest there may be ways to tweak those apps to inspire a deeper commitment to a fitness routine and help users hit their fitness goals.

In a study of how people used a fitness app, the researchers found that certain app features that boosted inner, or intrinsic, motivation — particularly feelings of autonomy, community and competence — boosted a user’s chance of sticking with his or her workout routine.

Fitness app users often struggle with maintaining a fitness routine, according to the researchers. Rock Health, a technology and healthcare venture fund, reported that about 47.5 percent of people who started to use a health app eventually stopped participating.

“A major challenge for this industry is to keep people using the app after the novelty has worn off,” said S. Shyam Sundar, James P. Jimirro Professor of Media Effects and co-director of the Media Effects Research Laboratory. “The bottom line of our project is to find ways that we think will help people sustain interest in their workouts.”

The researchers, who report their findings in the journal Health Communication, said that customization features that inspire autonomy — such as the number of workouts that users can follow and the amount of personal details they added to their app — corresponded to the number of tracked workouts and the amount of weight lifted.

For each workout program the user followed, the weight they lifted went up by 3.2 percent and the number of workouts they tracked went up 3.8 percent, according to lead author Maria Molina, a doctoral candidate in mass communications. She added that a unit increase in information disclosed by the user resulted in a 22.3 percent increase in tracked workouts. Similarly, when the user added more personal data to their profile, they reported lifting about 36.8 percent more weight.

The researchers said that relatedness, which they measured by analyzing a few factors, including the number of people users follow and the number of people who follow the users, significantly predicted the number of workouts the users tracked and the amount of weight they lifted. However, these effects depended on gender. While the number of followers increased the amount of weight lifted for everyone, the number of people users follow increased weight lifted only among female users. The number of followers also increased the likelihood that users would reach their body fat goals, but again only for female users.

“The number of followers and the number of people you follow in social apps, or social technology in general, may build a sense of relatedness among people who are working out,” said Molina. “In other words, they feel like other people are in the same boat as they are.”

Competence — or the level of proficiency people felt using the app — also linked with their workouts. Molina said that the number of photos a user posts on his or her site is one way to measure the user’s competence. In this study, the number of photographs positively predicted how much weight the user lifted.

The researchers found some differences in why men and women work out. Female users appear more concerned about their weight, while men seem motivated by increasing social recognition and competition, as well as building strength and endurance.

The researchers used data from publicly available profiles on BodySpace, often referred to as the “Facebook of fitness apps.” The final sample contained about 682 profiles of people who used the app from 2003 to 2017. About 408 profiles were from male users and 255 were those of female users. About 2.8 percent of the users did not report their gender.

Sundar said that the findings may help developers design fitness apps that not only increase their user-retention rates, but also keep their members motivated to continue their workout routines and reach their fitness and health goals.

“What we are establishing here is that certain features that can convey your sense of relatedness with others, your autonomy and your competence are systematically associated with the workouts you perform and the percentage of goals you achieve,” said Sundar. “These are the concepts that the developers should be thinking about. What we did is reverse-engineered it, in a sense, taking existing metrics available in the app and inferring what features matched up with competence, autonomy and relatedness. Something that developers might not think to do.”

Sundar added that future research may couple a questionnaire with a study of fitness apps to determine if users sense that the features are creating feelings of competence, relatedness and autonomy.

Tagged with:

About author

Related Articles