Utilising games and design-research methodology to promote physical activity among adolescents.

BEC, R. (2015). Utilising games and design-research methodology to promote physical activity among adolescents. Doctoral, Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom)..

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Abstract

Physical activity (PA) in adolescents is low which has contributed to significant rises in obesity leading to poor physical and mental health. Antidotes to this sedentary culture are required from both a prevention and treatment perspectives yet engaging adolescents in PA, one side of the energy balance equation, remains a challenge. 'Gaming culture' among youths might be an alternative approach and it is with this in mind that this research-through-design project explored how design practice and behaviour change theories can be combined to create, develop and refine game(s) to promote PA among adolescents aged 11-12. The iterative design process, supported by user-centred enquiries, used 'making' as the main method of enquiry and led to a contribution to knowledge. Design and knowledge in this research were interwoven: designing was the driver yet it is only through testing this design in context that understanding and knowledge could be verified, hence informing the next design development stage. A variety of design research techniques were used to explore, research, and understand situations and users, as well as to develop, review and evaluate prototypes. Various stakeholders such as design colleagues, friends, a family of users as well as 48 future end-users took part in this research. The iterations resulted in 'Boost Up!' which comprised a series of games utilising PA as a game currency. 'Boost Up!' explored how a 'blending experience' combining awareness and rewards via a gaming framework might promote repeated play to motivate an increase in PA behaviour. A final mixed-method study was used to evaluate the engagement of participants with 'Boost Up!' as well as its efficacy for promoting PA behaviour.Through testing the different versions of 'Boost Up!', a range of factors were identified for engaging adolescents (e.g. appropriation, instant feedback), which might be useful to those wanting to promote PA among this population, or even to monitor them. Furthermore, a new way to capture and report findings obtained when using a research-through-design methodology, using an Annotated Design History tehnique, was created. This approach may be of use to future design researchers. As a conclusion, the processes and techniques used in this research demonstrate the potential of using research-through-design methodology for health interventions.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: Thesis (Ph.D.)--Sheffield Hallam University (United Kingdom), 2015.
Research Institute, Centre or Group: Sheffield Hallam Doctoral Theses
Depositing User: EPrints Services
Date Deposited: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
Last Modified: 10 Apr 2018 17:18
URI: http://shura.shu.ac.uk/id/eprint/19335

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