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An exploration of Swedish adolescents' experiences of mobile apps for physical activity
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.
Umeå University, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Psychology.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1807-7837
Faculty of Physical Education and Sport, Lusófona University, Lisbon, Portugal;Research Center in Sport, Physical Education, and Exercise and Health (CIDEFES), Lisbon, Portugal.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-3281-2877
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2024 (English)In: Psychological Topics, ISSN 1332-0742, Vol. 33, no 1, p. 91-114Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Recent reports on children and adolescents' physical activity indicate that approximately 80% do not meet the World Health Organisation's recommended levels of physical activity. Childhood is a critical period of development; as such, it is important to prioritize health promotion in this phase of one's life. Use of gamification in mobile apps has been shown to positively influence physical activity levels in children and adolescents. Inclusion of behaviour change techniques (BCTs) has been noted to increase the effect of health promoting interventions. Previous research highlights that children and adolescents find the BCTs of goal setting/planning, feedback, reward, self-monitoring, social comparison, and social support to be of interest. The aim of this study was to explore Swedish adolescents' experience with physical activity and apps with a focus on the influence of BCTs. Three focus group interviews were undertaken with a total of 18 participants (11-15 years of age). The data were explored using reflective thematic analysis. In addition to the BCTs identified in previous research, participants in the present study indicated they were positive about mobile apps providing instruction on how to perform a behaviour, demonstration of the behaviour, and the influence of removal of reward. Other attractive features of physical activities apps included developing a streak, competition, and provision of an adequate level of challenge. The present study contributes to a deeper understanding of how BCTs and other features can be implemented in physical activity apps, where individualization and renewal appear to be more important than the actual content features. These findings are important for future work to create interventions that increase the level of physical activity among adolescents both in Sweden and other countries.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
University of Rijeka , 2024. Vol. 33, no 1, p. 91-114
Keywords [en]
children, youth, health promotion, behaviour change techniques, exercise
National Category
Sport and Fitness Sciences
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:umu:diva-223927DOI: 10.31820/pt.33.1.5Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85192387724OAI: oai:DiVA.org:umu-223927DiVA, id: diva2:1855530
Available from: 2024-05-02 Created: 2024-05-02 Last updated: 2024-05-16Bibliographically approved

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Wilhelmsson, JennyDavis, Paul A.

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