Creating and evaluating an application for motivation through collective exercise
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Many systems have been developed over the years with aim to motivate physical activity and behavioural change. The process is complex, and is often necessary to implement several strategies. Integrating the user's social context could increase motivation, and is a common approach for adding an extra incentive to exercise. This thesis investigates how theories about social interaction has enforced systems for motivating exercises. A recurring feature for social applications, are some variation of collective exercise. Collective exercise in real life yields many advantages compared to exercising alone, and could therefore be an important asset. Most systems with a collective exercise approach, is mainly based on the activity being performed alone. It was identified a technology gap, and was the motivation for the application created in this thesis. For this purpose, it was created an application based on two friends performing an activity together. The app is suppose to motivate during an exercise and runs partly on smart-phone and smart-watch. The concept is based on social comparison, social learning and social facilitation. The app creates a virtual running environment by visualising the user and his friend, and motivates through the feeling of collective exercise. The results of this work is a review over previous attempts for motivating physical activity in relation to social interaction, a description of the app created, an open source code base available for reuse and an evaluation of the app with users. It was identified a general lack of longitudinal studies on behaviour change systems, and this also applies to this study. Further work should focus on testing the app in a more controlled setting during a longer period of time.