Increase Physical Fitness and Create Health Awareness through Exergames and Gamification

The Role of Individual Factors, Motivation and Acceptance
  • Philipp Brauner
  • André Calero Valdez
  • Ulrik Schroeder
  • Martina Ziefle
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 7946)


Demographic change and the aging population push health and welfare system to its limits. Increased physical fitness and increased awareness for health issues will help elderly to live independently for longer and will thereby reduce the costs in the health care system. Exergames seem to be a promising solution for promoting physical fitness. Still, there is little evidence under what conditions Exergames will be accepted and used by elderly. To investigate promoting and hindering factors we conducted a user study with a prototype of an Exergame. We contrasted young vs. elderly players and investigated the role of gamer types, personality factors and technical expertise on the performance within the game and changes in the attitude towards individual health after the game. Surprisingly, performance within the game is not affected by performance motivation but by gamer type. More importantly, a universal positive effect on perceived pain is detected after the Exergame intervention.


Exergame Health Awareness Design For All Gamer types Physical Fitness User Acceptance Gamification 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Giannakouris, K.: Ageing characterises the demographic perspectives of the European societies. Eurostat, Statistics in Focus (2008)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    McGonigal, J.: Reality Is Broken: Why Games Make Us Better and How They Can Change the World. The Penguin Group (2011)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Tanaka, K., Parker, J., Baradoy, G., Sheehan, D., Holash, J.R., Katz, L.: A Comparison of Exergaming Interfaces for Use in Rehabilitation Programs and Research. Loading 6(9), 69–81 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Gerling, K.M., Schulte, F.P., Masuch, M.: Designing and evaluating digital games for frail elderly persons. In: ACM International Conference Proceeding Series. Cent. Inf. Tecnol., Ydreams (2011)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Catania, A.C., Skinner, B.F.: The Selection of Behavior. The Operant Behaviorism of BF Skinner: Comments and Consequences, vol. 563. Cambridge University Press (1988)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Bandura, A.: Self-efficacy: Toward a unifying theory of behavioral change. Psychological Review 84, 191–215 (1977)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. 7.
    Bisson, C., Luckner, J.: Fun in Learning: The Pedagogical Role of Fun in Adventure Education. Perspectives. Journal of Experiential Education 19(2), 108–112Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Premack, D.: Toward empirical behavior laws: I. Positive reinforcement. Psychological Review 66(4), 219 (1959)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Whitlock, L.A., McLaughlin, A.C., Allaire, J.C.: Video Game Design for Older Adults: Usability Observations from an Intervention Study. In: Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting, vol. 55(1), pp. 187–191 (September 2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Ziefle, M., Bay, S.: How older adults meet complexity: Aging effects on the usability of different mobile phones. Behaviour Information Technology 24(5), 375–389 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Arning, K., Ziefle, M.: Effects of age, cognitive, and personal factors on PDA menu navigation performance. Behaviour Information Technology 28(3), 251–268 (2009)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    McLaughlin, A., Gandy, M., Allaire, J., Whitlock, L.: Putting Fun into Video Games for Older Adults. Ergonomics in Design: The Quarterly of Human Factors Applications 20(2), 13–22 (2012)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. 13.
    Yee, N.: Motivations for play in online games. Cyberpsychology & Behavior: the Impact of the Internet, Multimedia and Virtual Reality on Behavior and Society 9(6), 772–775 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Gao, Y., Mandryk, R.L.: GrabApple: The Design of a Casual Exergame. In: Anacleto, J.C., Fels, S., Graham, N., Kapralos, B., Saif El-Nasr, M., Stanley, K. (eds.) ICEC 2011. LNCS, vol. 6972, pp. 35–46. Springer, Heidelberg (2011)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. 15.
    De Schutter, B., Vandenabeele, V.: Meaningful Play in Elderly Life. In: 58th Annual Conference of the International Communication Association Communicating for Social Impact (2008)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Beier, G.: Kontrollüberzeugungen im Umgang mit Technik [Locus of control when interacting with technology]. Report Psychologie 24(9), 684–693 (1999)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Brauner, P., Runge, S., Groten, M., Schuh, G., Ziefle, M.: Human Factors in Supply Chain Management Decision making in complex logistic scenarios. In: Proceedings of the 15th HCI International, Las Vegas. Springer, Heidelberg (to be published, 2013)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Arning, K., Ziefle, M.: Understanding age differences in PDA acceptance and performance. Computers in Human Behavior 23(6), 2904–2927 (2007)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. 19.
    Schuler, H., Prochaska, M.: LMI: Leistungsmotivationsinventar;[Dimensionen berufsbezogener Leistungsorientierung]. Hogrefe (2001)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reichheld, F.F.: The number one you need to grow. Harvard Business Review 12, 47–54 (2003)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Davis, F.D.: Perceived Usefulness, Perceived Ease of Use, and User Acceptance of Information Technology. MIS Quarterly 13(3), 319 (1989)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. 22.
    Pearce, C.: The Truth About Baby Boomer Gamers: A Study of Over-Forty Computer Game Players. Games and Culture 3(2), 142–174 (2008)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Brauner, P., Bay, S., Gossler, T., Ziefle, M.: Intuitive gestures on multi-touch displays for reading radiological images. In: Proceedings of the 15th HCI International, Las Vegas. Springer, Heidelberg (to be published, 2013)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Philipp Brauner
    • 1
  • André Calero Valdez
    • 1
  • Ulrik Schroeder
    • 2
  • Martina Ziefle
    • 1
  1. 1.Human-Computer Interaction CenterRWTH Aachen UniversityGermany
  2. 2.Computer-Supported Learning Research GroupRWTH Aachen UniversityGermany

Personalised recommendations