Interventions that provide synergistic support across all three needs tend to result in greater engagement Commercial Running Apps How Much do They Support Users' Psychological Needs? - Laboratoire Interdisciplinaire des Sciences du Numérique Access content directly
Conference Poster Year : 2023

Interventions that provide synergistic support across all three needs tend to result in greater engagement Commercial Running Apps How Much do They Support Users' Psychological Needs?

Fernandes G Gomes
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Jean-Claude Martin
Xavier Sanchez
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Abstract

Physical inactivity and sedentary lifestyles are major health-related risk factors. Running is quite relevant when studying the design and implementation of interventions aiming at increasing PA levels, as it is a very popular activity. A growing strategy to promote PA is to design interventions using “motivational technology.” Several commercial apps are specifically designed for running, but it remains unclear how much they rely on motivational theories and support users’ needs. The purpose of the present study was twofold; firstly, to identify relevant apps available to the running community and secondly, to gain knowledge on how much they support three fundamental psychological needs: autonomy, competence, and relatedness (Self-Determination Theory; SDT [1]). We extensively reviewed the top 8-ranked commercial running apps’ features for 2022, using “best/most used/top- ranked running apps” as keywords in search engines. We included those with a clear running goal (e.g.: activity tracking, proposing training programs) and that systematically appeared in different ranks of most used apps. We compared eight running apps, and analysed five other applications and web services with interesting features, even if they were not considered the most used apps. To examine how these apps supported the above-mentioned psychological needs, we considered the following: Competence – applications offered articles on running to increase users’ knowledge and tips to improve performance; Autonomy – freedom in the choice of functions, training programs, location, or time of the sessions; Relatedness – offered some interaction between users. Findings showed that none of the apps explicitly considered any psychological need in their design. However, we can rate these apps according to SDT dimensions. All the apps satisfied autonomy to some extent. Six out of eight also included features allowing for competence satisfaction. Relatedness was present in every app but in different forms; some had an interface mimicking social networks, whereas others merely let the users share photos. Personalisation is another critical option to guarantee program adherence–only one of the eight apps produced personalized motivational messages. To conclude, findings suggest that researchers may use existing commercial running apps when designing interventions. However, further research is warranted to fully understand what aspects are critical when using motivational technology to encourage long-term adherence and establish a common framework valid for different runners’ profiles—ranging from health to performance. References [1] Deci, E. L., & Ryan, R. M. (2008). Self-determination theory: A macrotheory of human motivation, development, and health. Canadian Psychology/Psychologie canadienne, 49(3), 182–185

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Psychology
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Dates and versions

hal-04474844 , version 1 (23-02-2024)

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  • HAL Id : hal-04474844 , version 1

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Fernandes G Gomes, Jean-Claude Martin, Xavier Sanchez. Interventions that provide synergistic support across all three needs tend to result in greater engagement Commercial Running Apps How Much do They Support Users' Psychological Needs?. 28th Annual Congress of the EUROPEAN COLLEGE OF SPORT SCIENCE, Jul 2023, Paris, France. ⟨hal-04474844⟩
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