Project Details

Health and Fitness Gaming

In most industrialized countries, a large percentage of adults is obese or overweight because they are physically inactive. This leads to problems, such as decreasing the life quality of individuals and increasing health care costs, especially in North America. The millennial technology-centered lifestyle has brought about unhealthy habits, such as eating more processed food and less physical activity at home. Video games have risen in popularity over the past decades and some have blamed increased game playing habits for an unhealthy lifestyle change. This project investigates whether it is possible to motivate people for a healthy lifestyle and for maintaining increased physical activity by using video games. We are especially interested in exploring game design elements and psychological reward balancing that leads to increased exercise motivation and maintaining healthy eating habits. We are using physiological measures and behaviour tracking to analyse and study habit formation in physically interactive gaming environments.



Lennart Nacke
Director of the HCI Games Group


Gustavo Fortes Tondello
Ph.D. Student in Personalized Health Gamification
Dennis Kappen
Ph.D. Student, Game Design and User Interaction for Older Adults
Rina Wehbe
Ph.D. Student, EEG Analysis of Gameplay Comprehension


Year 2016

Design Strategies for Gamified Physical Activity Applications for Older Adults

Dennis L. Kappen, Lennart E. Nacke, Kathrin M. Gerling, and Lia E. Tsotsos. 2016. Design Strategies for Gamified Physical Activity Applications for Older Adults. In Proceedings of the 49th Annual Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences. IEEE, 1309-1318. doi:10.1109/HICSS.2016.166