Unified health gamification can significantly improve well-being in corporate environments

A. Shahrestani, P.M.E. Van Gorp, P.M. Le Blanc, F. Greidanus, Kristel de Groot, J. Leermakers

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contributionAcademicpeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
1 Downloads (Pure)

Abstract

There is a multitude of mHealth applications that aim to solve societal health problems by stimulating specific types of physical activities via gamification. However, physical health activities cover just one of the three World Health Organization (WHO) dimensions of health. This paper introduces the novel notion of Unified Health Gamification (UHG), which covers besides physical health also social and cognitive health and well-being. Instead of rewarding activities in the three WHO dimensions using different mHealth competitions, UHG combines the scores for such activities on unified leaderboards and lets people interact in social circles beyond personal interests. This approach is promising in corporate environments since UHG can connect the employees with intrinsic motivation for physical health with those who have quite different interests. In order to evaluate this approach, we realized an app prototype and we evaluated it in two corporate pilot studies. In total, eighteen pilot users participated voluntarily for six weeks. Half of the participants were recruited from an occupational health setting and the other half from a treatment setting. Our results suggest that the UHG principles are worth more investigation: various positive health effects were found based on a validated survey. The mean mental health improved significantly at one pilot location and at the level of individual pilot participants, multiple other effects were found to be significant: among others, significant mental health improvements were found for 28% of the participants. Most participants intended to use the app beyond the pilot, especially if it would be further developed.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publication2017 39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society
Place of PublicationPiscataway
PublisherInstitute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers
Pages4507-4511
Number of pages5
ISBN (Electronic)978-1-5090-2809-2
ISBN (Print)978-1-5090-2810-8
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 13 Sep 2017
Event39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2017) - Jeju, Jeju, Korea, Republic of
Duration: 11 Jul 201715 Jul 2017
Conference number: 39
https://embc.embs.org/2017/

Conference

Conference39th Annual International Conference of the IEEE Engineering in Medicine and Biology Society (EMBC 2017)
Abbreviated titleEMBC 2017
CountryKorea, Republic of
CityJeju
Period11/07/1715/07/17
Internet address

Keywords

  • Exercise
  • Humans
  • Motivation
  • Pilot Projects
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Telemedicine

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