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Efficiency of Gamification for Health Lifestyle Promotion

Student: Galina Gracheva

Supervisor: Aigul M. Klimova

Faculty: Faculty of Social Sciences

Educational Programme: Complex Social Analysis (Master)

Year of Graduation: 2020

Gamification can help promote a healthy lifestyle by engaging and motivating mobile app users to exercise. Gamification is defined as a concept based on the application of game mechanics, methods, principles, and techniques to non-game activities. The purpose of the master's thesis is to evaluate the effectiveness of gamification in mobile applications to promote a healthy lifestyle. The paper analyzes in detail the terms "gamification" and "healthy lifestyle", identifies criteria for determining the effectiveness of gamification, describes motivating ways to use gamification in applications, analyzes the effectiveness of gamification in mobile fitness applications, and identifies aspects of gamification that lead to the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. The study was conducted using a qualitative method using a semi-structured interview. The sample size was 16 informants. Taking into account the literature read, a classification of gamification elements was compiled, which included 4 categories: communication, competition, goal setting, and bonuses. As a result of the analysis, it was found that the most motivating category of gamified elements for users was the goal setting category. This category includes elements such as levels and feedback. It is concluded that in the developed classification of gamified applications, it is necessary to add photos to the goal-setting category. This is explained by the fact that photos can motivate novice users and maintain the involvement of those who have been engaged for a long time. The paper offers some recommendations for using gamified elements in mobile fitness apps: convert levels in the app – think through a soft transition from easy to difficult, and also make it possible to coordinate the increase in load with the user; include "like" in the fitness app for the training program; maintain the confidentiality of user photos.

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