Developing Mobile Apps for Physical Activity in Low Socioeconomic Status Youth


Systems and Industrial Engineering

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Objective: The objective of the study was to implement a user-centred approach in the design and development of smartphone game-based applications (SGA) prototypes for PA promotion in adolescents, specifically from low SES families. Aims: (1) Describe the development of smartphone game-based applications to promote physical activity in adolescents from primarily low socioeconomic status households. (2) Determine acceptability of initial prototypes. Methods: This study implemented a user-centred approach including adolescent focus groups (n =3; 14 adolescents), parent interviews (n=7), and idea generation sessions (n=5; 80 participants) to develop and design smartphone applications as a persuasive technology for adolescents. Results: Qualitative data demonstrated that adolescents identified smartphone features that would have the ability to have frequent opportunities for social networking and competition. The majority of parents had favourable perceptions of smartphone games for physical activity promotion. Furthermore, idea generating centred around sports and recreational games. A final set of games were developed into hand drawn and computer generated prototypes. Conclusions: The study provides a framework for how to incorporate a user-centred approach in the design and prototype development of smartphone game-based applications, and indicates the feasibility of continued smartphone game-based applications development and effectiveness testing for promoting physical activity among low socioeconomic adolescents.

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Journal of Mobile Technology in Medicine

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