The use of fitness-trackers and the role of motivational intermissions to maintain healthy behaviors: an explorative case study on runners
Keywords:behavior change maintenance, healthy behavior, motivation, fitness trackers, physical exercise
This study explores a user perspective on fitness-trackers and how they are used to maintain healthy behaviors; and how fitness trackers could be designed to better maintain healthy behaviors. A thematic analysis was conducted on the transcriptions from semi-structured interviews with eight seasoned non-professional runners who regularly used fitness trackers in their exercise regime. The main findings are: (a) the maintenance of healthy behaviors rely more on what happens in the intermission – that is, between healthy behaviors – than during the actual behavior itself; and (b), by visualizing the history of healthy behaviors, intermission feedback help motivate the repetition of healthy behavior in a way that mimics broad choice bracketing and behavioral streaks. Thus, fitness-trackers should focus more on the motivational aspects during the intermission between the healthy behaviors rather than encouraging the performance during the target behavior.