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Article

Ana Isabel Polo-Peña, Dolores María Frías-Jamilena and María Lina Fernández-Ruano

In advanced societies, lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, and it is important to identify strategies to help people acquire healthy habits, such as exercise. The…

Abstract

Purpose

In advanced societies, lifestyles are increasingly sedentary, and it is important to identify strategies to help people acquire healthy habits, such as exercise. The present study proposes the use of gamification as a strategy for encouraging users to exercise regularly, based on the possibilities offered by “smart” devices such as smartbands.

Design/methodology/approach

The work analyzes how individuals experience their participation in a gamification program, on the premise that it should provide an experience that is intrinsically motivating and fun. Also the moderator effect of the gender and age on the relationship between their experience of participating in a gamification program and perceived self-efficacy.

Findings

The results show that individuals' experience of participating in a gamification program exerts a positive influence on their perceived self-efficacy in the practice of sport or exercise. The study also finds that the variables “gender” and “age” moderate the relationship between their experience of participating in a gamification program and perceived self-efficacy, such that it exerts a greater influence on women and older people.

Practical implications

The practical implications for the professionals and institutions involved in promoting the adoption of regular sport and exercise in society are about taking advantage of the potential of wearable technology such as smartbands. The present study finds that the use of gamification for encouraging people to adopt regular physical activity is more effective for women than for men, and for older people than for younger users.

Originality/value

The findings of this study provide a better understanding of whether gamification is an appropriate strategy for helping participants to perceive themselves as having greater self-efficacy in their chosen sport or exercise, taking into account the moderating effect of participant gender and age.

Details

International Journal of Sports Marketing and Sponsorship, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1464-6668

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