Publication Details

Matthews, J., Win, K., Oinas-Kukkonen, H. & Freeman, M. (2016). Persuasive technology in mobile applications promoting physical activity: a systematic review. Journal of Medical Systems, 40 (3), 72-85.


Persuasive technology in mobile applications can be used to influence the behaviour of users. A framework known as the Persuasive Systems Design model has been developed for designing and evaluating systems that influence the attitudes or behaviours of users. This paper reviews the current state of mobile applications for health behavioural change with an emphasis on applications that promote physical activity. The inbuilt persuasive features of mobile applications were evaluated using the Persuasive Systems Design model. A database search was conducted to identify relevant articles. Articles were then reviewed using the Persuasive Systems Design model as a framework for analysis. Primary task support, dialogue support, and social support were found to be moderately represented in the selected articles. However, system credibility support was found to have only low levels of representation as a persuasive systems design feature in mobile applications for supporting physical activity. To ensure that available mobile technology resources are best used to improve the wellbeing of people, it is important that the design principles that influence the effectiveness of persuasive technology be understood.



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