Understanding Points Collection and Redemption Behaviors in a Gamified Fitness Program: An Abstract

Kirk Plangger, Colin Campbell, Karen Robson*, Jianyu Hao, Matteo Montecchi

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

Encouraging physical activity and fitness is a key goal of many organizations and governments today. At the same time, the last decade has witnessed an unprecedented growth in ability to track behavior. The fact that anything and everything can now be tracked also means that anything can be turned into a game. Gamification, or the application of game design principles to non-game contexts (Robson et al. 2015), thus is on the rise. Health gamification is a potential means of motivating behavior changes (Robson et al. 2015, 2016) that support improved health and fitness. This work explores the point collection and redemption behavior of users in a large gamified fitness program. The results provide a framework to develop gamified experiences that are effective at generating improved sustained health through physical activity while also being cost effective. This project utilizes data from a university-wide fitness program that is intended to encourage improved fitness levels in student and staff from a large European university. We obtained data on 3093 users (Mage = 25, 61.1% female) of a gamified fitness tracking rewards program from over a six-month period. Program members obtain points for engaging in tracked movements; these points can be redeemed for small rewards (such as beverages or discounts at popular websites) or can be saved up for larger rewards (such university branded hoodies or t-shirts). The program is free to join for students, faculty, and staff and works in conjunction with most major fitness trackers (e.g. Apple Watch, Fitbit, etc.). The dependent variable we investigated was the total number of exercise points collected by an individual, which reflected each person’s fitness over the period. Independent variables included average redemption size in points and the proportion of points redeemed relative to collected. Our findings reveal that point redemptions are in general associated with collecting more points, suggesting that obtaining a reward is effective in motivating physical activity. However, our results also reveal that all prizes or point redemptions are not equally effective in motivating further physical activity, as those users who redeemed the majority of the points they collected ultimately collected fewer points than less avid redeemers. At the same time, our results reveal that redeeming on fewer occasions, but for larger or more valuable rewards, is linked to more physical activity. Our research reveals that sharing workout history was not effective in motivating physical activity – rather, it was linked with less activity unless users also redeemed their points at least once.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
PublisherSpringer Nature
Pages595-596
Number of pages2
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2020

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173

Keywords

  • Fitness
  • Gamification
  • Health
  • Points collection
  • Points redemption

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