We all have one or the other fitness app on our smartphones, don’t we? We follow them religiously and in some ways, these apps influence our lifestyle, eating habits and workouts too. However, a new study reveals that smartphone fitness apps aim to change people’s behavior, without researching the most effective tools to do so.
In fact, there is little-to-no evidence that these apps lead to significant results, or are even able to educate the users in the right manner; enough to keep them hooked.
One way to evaluate would be to compare the types of behavior-changing techniques these apps use. David Conroy, the study’s lead researcher identified the 100 top-selling health and fitness apps in the Apple iTunes and Google Play marketplaces. The researchers studied various tools like social support, instructions, demonstrations, feedback, goal settings, and prompt and self-monitoring of behavior.
They discovered that while 48 percent focused on support and feedback through social media, approval from others, and feedback on behavior, the other 52 percent ticked the same check-boxes, with the addition of demonstrations and instructions.
Conroy said that most fitness apps are focusing more on connecting with Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to make their product an attractive package. Instead, they should focus on keeping current users motivated and enrolling new members through result-based and interactive techniques.