Watch your steps: designing a semi-public display to promote physical activity

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9 Citations (Scopus)


Sedentary time is considered a health risk factor, even when it is compensated with some exercise. Frequent activities of minimal physical exertion throughout the day like walking or climbing stairs are therefore recommended. To promote these activities through social play and collective awareness, we designed a semi-public display that shows the step count of a group of players in near real-time, using a wearable self-monitoring device that senses their physical activity. We included a fictional player that walked at constant speed during the whole day to promote a shared goal. Our preliminary findings suggest that the display motivated players to use a self-monitoring device everyday and enabled new conversations among players without producing privacy issues. Emotional connections with non-collocated participants and creative ways of cheating were also observed. We believe our work highlights the opportunities to extend the potential of self-monitoring devices, which require little effort and resources to be implemented.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIE 2013 - Proceedings of the 9th Australasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment
Subtitle of host publicationMatters of Life and Death
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery (ACM)
Number of pages6
ISBN (Print)9781450322546
Publication statusPublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes
EventAustralasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment 2013: Matters of Life and Death - Melbourne, VIC, Australia
Duration: 30 Sep 20131 Oct 2013
Conference number: 9th


ConferenceAustralasian Conference on Interactive Entertainment 2013
Abbreviated titleIE 2013
CityMelbourne, VIC


  • Behavior change
  • Behavior change technologies
  • Persuasive games
  • Persuasive technology
  • Physical activity displays
  • Self-monitoring devices
  • Serious games

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