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Location-aware indoor workout gamification for increased physical activity among young adults.

Alternative title: Lokasjonsstyrt innendørs trening ved bruk av spillteori for økt fysiskt aktivitet blant unge voksne.

Awarded: NOK 0.73 mill.

Portable smart devices like smartphones and tablets have taken an important and large place in our daily lives, bringing together a vast abundance of casual mobile games which continue to grow in number and popularity. This abundance, however, comes at a price - people in general are leading increasingly sedentary lives which can make a harmful impact on their health in long term. A large number of chronical diseases are known to occur precisely because of lack of physical activity and are predicted to be a serious burden for our aging population. We propose a method of popularization of regular physical activity among teenagers and adults through the use of mobile gaming and the recently emerged Bluetooth beacon technology with focus on prevention of chronical diseases in order to avoid further expenses on treatment.

Rapid evolution of portable smart devices and growth of the gaming industry go hand in hand with dramatic decrease of daily physical activity levels in the general population. The lack of physical activity and increasingly sedentary lifestyles are proven to be strongly related to increased occurrence of a vast number of chronic diseases, which have already been identified as a significant threat to general public health in long term. However, the rise of portable smart devices and the ever-increasing interest in gaming among the general population can potentially be employed to promote a more physically active lifestyle. Multiple research groups have proved that gamification of healthy habits or health-related knowledge adoption is feasible while being applied to groups of people with medical conditions (chronic diseases, post-traumatic cases etc.). On the other hand, gamification of physical activities, its health-related effects and adoption rates for a broader audience (people who do not have or have not developed chronic diseases described earlier) remain significantly underdeveloped and unexplored. Exploration and development of this domain of physical activity gamification might be an important step to chronic disease prevention in general population. We argue that location-aware gamification augmented with location sensing Bluetooth beacon technology might be one of the keys to making physical activity more appealing to target group and lead to sustainable positive changes in one?s behavior and lifestyle, which would in turn result in significant reduction of risk of acquiring or developing a large number of diseases.

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