What features do Dutch university students prefer in a smartphone application for promotion of physical activity? – A qualitative approach.

A. Middelweerd, D. van der Laan, M.M. van Stralen, J.S. Mollee, M.S. Stuij, S.J. te Velde, J. Brug

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

The transition from adolescence to early adulthood is a critical period in which there is a decline in physical activity (PA). College and university students make up a large segment of this age group. Smartphones may be used to promote and support PA. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Dutch students' preferences regarding a PA application (PA app) for smartphones. Methods: Thirty Dutch students (aged 18-25 years) used a PA app for three weeks and subsequently attended a focus group discussion (k=5). To streamline the discussion, a discussion guide was developed covering seven main topics, including general app usage, usage and appreciation of the PA app, appreciation of and preferences for its features and the sharing of PA accomplishments through social media. The discussions were audio and video recorded, transcribed and analysed according to conventional content analysis. Results: The participants, aged 21±2 years, were primarily female (67%). Several themes emerged: app usage, technical aspects, PA assessment, coaching aspects and sharing through social media. Participants most often used social networking apps (e.g., Facebook or Twitter), communication apps (e.g., WhatsApp) and content apps (e.g., news reports or weather forecasts). They preferred a simple and structured layout without unnecessary features. Ideally, the PA app should enable users to tailor it to their personal preferences by including the ability to hide features. Participants preferred a companion website for detailed information about their accomplishments and progress, and they liked tracking their workout using GPS. They preferred PA apps that coached and motivated them and provided tailored feedback toward personally set goals. They appreciated PA apps that enabled competition with friends by ranking or earning rewards, but only if the reward system was transparent. They were not willing to share their regular PA accomplishments through social media unless they were exceptionally positive. Conclusions: Participants prefer PA apps that coach and motivate them, that provide tailored feedback toward personally set goals and that allow competition with friends.
Original languageEnglish
Article number31
JournalInternational Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity
Volume12
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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Exercise
Students
Social Media
Reward
Smartphone
Social Networking
Aptitude
Weather
Focus Groups
Age Groups
Communication
Mentoring

Cite this

@article{48ebd5bc9ad14b46a619c523adeedeca,
title = "What features do Dutch university students prefer in a smartphone application for promotion of physical activity? – A qualitative approach.",
abstract = "The transition from adolescence to early adulthood is a critical period in which there is a decline in physical activity (PA). College and university students make up a large segment of this age group. Smartphones may be used to promote and support PA. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Dutch students' preferences regarding a PA application (PA app) for smartphones. Methods: Thirty Dutch students (aged 18-25 years) used a PA app for three weeks and subsequently attended a focus group discussion (k=5). To streamline the discussion, a discussion guide was developed covering seven main topics, including general app usage, usage and appreciation of the PA app, appreciation of and preferences for its features and the sharing of PA accomplishments through social media. The discussions were audio and video recorded, transcribed and analysed according to conventional content analysis. Results: The participants, aged 21±2 years, were primarily female (67{\%}). Several themes emerged: app usage, technical aspects, PA assessment, coaching aspects and sharing through social media. Participants most often used social networking apps (e.g., Facebook or Twitter), communication apps (e.g., WhatsApp) and content apps (e.g., news reports or weather forecasts). They preferred a simple and structured layout without unnecessary features. Ideally, the PA app should enable users to tailor it to their personal preferences by including the ability to hide features. Participants preferred a companion website for detailed information about their accomplishments and progress, and they liked tracking their workout using GPS. They preferred PA apps that coached and motivated them and provided tailored feedback toward personally set goals. They appreciated PA apps that enabled competition with friends by ranking or earning rewards, but only if the reward system was transparent. They were not willing to share their regular PA accomplishments through social media unless they were exceptionally positive. Conclusions: Participants prefer PA apps that coach and motivate them, that provide tailored feedback toward personally set goals and that allow competition with friends.",
author = "A. Middelweerd and {van der Laan}, D. and {van Stralen}, M.M. and J.S. Mollee and M.S. Stuij and {te Velde}, S.J. and J. Brug",
year = "2015",
doi = "10.1186/s12966-015-0189-1",
language = "English",
volume = "12",
journal = "International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity",
issn = "1479-5868",
publisher = "BioMed Central",

}

What features do Dutch university students prefer in a smartphone application for promotion of physical activity? – A qualitative approach. / Middelweerd, A.; van der Laan, D.; van Stralen, M.M.; Mollee, J.S.; Stuij, M.S.; te Velde, S.J.; Brug, J.

In: International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity, Vol. 12, 31, 2015.

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review

TY - JOUR

T1 - What features do Dutch university students prefer in a smartphone application for promotion of physical activity? – A qualitative approach.

AU - Middelweerd, A.

AU - van der Laan, D.

AU - van Stralen, M.M.

AU - Mollee, J.S.

AU - Stuij, M.S.

AU - te Velde, S.J.

AU - Brug, J.

PY - 2015

Y1 - 2015

N2 - The transition from adolescence to early adulthood is a critical period in which there is a decline in physical activity (PA). College and university students make up a large segment of this age group. Smartphones may be used to promote and support PA. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Dutch students' preferences regarding a PA application (PA app) for smartphones. Methods: Thirty Dutch students (aged 18-25 years) used a PA app for three weeks and subsequently attended a focus group discussion (k=5). To streamline the discussion, a discussion guide was developed covering seven main topics, including general app usage, usage and appreciation of the PA app, appreciation of and preferences for its features and the sharing of PA accomplishments through social media. The discussions were audio and video recorded, transcribed and analysed according to conventional content analysis. Results: The participants, aged 21±2 years, were primarily female (67%). Several themes emerged: app usage, technical aspects, PA assessment, coaching aspects and sharing through social media. Participants most often used social networking apps (e.g., Facebook or Twitter), communication apps (e.g., WhatsApp) and content apps (e.g., news reports or weather forecasts). They preferred a simple and structured layout without unnecessary features. Ideally, the PA app should enable users to tailor it to their personal preferences by including the ability to hide features. Participants preferred a companion website for detailed information about their accomplishments and progress, and they liked tracking their workout using GPS. They preferred PA apps that coached and motivated them and provided tailored feedback toward personally set goals. They appreciated PA apps that enabled competition with friends by ranking or earning rewards, but only if the reward system was transparent. They were not willing to share their regular PA accomplishments through social media unless they were exceptionally positive. Conclusions: Participants prefer PA apps that coach and motivate them, that provide tailored feedback toward personally set goals and that allow competition with friends.

AB - The transition from adolescence to early adulthood is a critical period in which there is a decline in physical activity (PA). College and university students make up a large segment of this age group. Smartphones may be used to promote and support PA. The purpose of this qualitative study was to explore Dutch students' preferences regarding a PA application (PA app) for smartphones. Methods: Thirty Dutch students (aged 18-25 years) used a PA app for three weeks and subsequently attended a focus group discussion (k=5). To streamline the discussion, a discussion guide was developed covering seven main topics, including general app usage, usage and appreciation of the PA app, appreciation of and preferences for its features and the sharing of PA accomplishments through social media. The discussions were audio and video recorded, transcribed and analysed according to conventional content analysis. Results: The participants, aged 21±2 years, were primarily female (67%). Several themes emerged: app usage, technical aspects, PA assessment, coaching aspects and sharing through social media. Participants most often used social networking apps (e.g., Facebook or Twitter), communication apps (e.g., WhatsApp) and content apps (e.g., news reports or weather forecasts). They preferred a simple and structured layout without unnecessary features. Ideally, the PA app should enable users to tailor it to their personal preferences by including the ability to hide features. Participants preferred a companion website for detailed information about their accomplishments and progress, and they liked tracking their workout using GPS. They preferred PA apps that coached and motivated them and provided tailored feedback toward personally set goals. They appreciated PA apps that enabled competition with friends by ranking or earning rewards, but only if the reward system was transparent. They were not willing to share their regular PA accomplishments through social media unless they were exceptionally positive. Conclusions: Participants prefer PA apps that coach and motivate them, that provide tailored feedback toward personally set goals and that allow competition with friends.

U2 - 10.1186/s12966-015-0189-1

DO - 10.1186/s12966-015-0189-1

M3 - Article

VL - 12

JO - International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

JF - International Journal of Behavioral Nutrition and Physical Activity

SN - 1479-5868

M1 - 31

ER -