Elements of Successful Mobile Apps and Serious Games to Instill Lifestyle Change

Apr 26, 2019

6th Canadian Obesity Summit. Ottawa, Ont. Canada


The presentation reviews studies of smartphone-based applications and serious digital games to promote a more healthy lifestyle including decreased sedentary activity, increased exercise, and dietary change. Electronically delivered, comprehensive interventions along with self-monitoring of weight, food intake, and physical activity are more effective when they follow certain standards. Effective solutions guide the user in defining individual goals (e.g., walking 2x a day for 4 days a week) and developing a tailored action plan (e.g., walking every morning with a friend, increasing salad at lunch, completing a standing exercise) to enhance habit formation. Successful solutions empower the user with the information, resources, motivation, autonomy, and near and longer-term feedback to complete the action plan. The ability to share strategies and successes with family and friends through social media also enhances success.

Reference: Tanner B. Elements of Successful Mobile Apps and Serious Games to instill Lifestyle Change Presented at the 6th Canadian Obesity Summit, April 26, 2019, Ottawa, Ont. Canada.

More info on the authors: Brad Tanner