Integrating person-to-person social support in smartphone apps for promoting physical activity

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Abstract

The epidemic of physical inactivity is a major health hazard in the modern society, therefore creating effective and innovative health programs and interventions is important. This paper presents a novel approach in which person-to-person social support is incorporated in mHealth interventions for increasing physical activity. Social support is already used as a behaviour change technique in mHealth apps for influencing physical activity, but mostly offered virtually. While virtually-offered social support is efficient, we believe that person-to-person communication, based on personal coaching, might open a new way of influencing the inactive users and their motivation. Responding to this, we developed an Android application that facilitates physically inactive users to connect with a real life coach to receive person-to-person social support. This paper explains the motivation behind the system’s design decisions and discusses the potential of social support in mHeatlh apps. In addition, we present the design of the evaluation study in which the hypotheses and research questions will be evaluated.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHEALTHINF 2018 - 11th International Conference on Health Informatics, Proceedings; Part of 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2018
PublisherSciTePress
Pages497-504
Number of pages8
Volume5
ISBN (Electronic)9789897582813
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2018
Event11th International Conference on Health Informatics, HEALTHINF 2018 - Part of 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2018 - Funchal, Madeira, Portugal
Duration: 19 Jan 201821 Jan 2018

Conference

Conference11th International Conference on Health Informatics, HEALTHINF 2018 - Part of 11th International Joint Conference on Biomedical Engineering Systems and Technologies, BIOSTEC 2018
CountryPortugal
CityFunchal, Madeira
Period19/01/1821/01/18

Keywords

  • Mobile Health
  • Physical Activity
  • Social Support

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