It’s a fact: wearables are on the rise. But we think that wearable technologies can do more than just track steps, monitor your sleep cycle, and ping you with notifications from your phone.
Namely, wearables can also be used for gamification—the use of game-like strategies and mechanics in non-game contexts.
Games are fun because they allow us to accomplish things and receive rewards (that’s why we enjoy them!). But what if we could apply those same principles and strategies to our fitness?
Why not use the same principles that make games so engaging to motivate people to work out and stay healthy?
Actually, this idea has been around for a while and it is called “gamification of exercise” or “exergames.” Some of the more popular fitness examples include Fitbit, Nike+, and Wii Fit.
Exergaming has become an increasing field of study over time, as evidenced by the number of research papers published on the subject. But relatively few studies have investigated the potential of wearable technology as a means of exergaming.
We believe that wearable technologies have the potential to be utilized in the domain of gamifying fitness and exercise.
Here are 3 ways how fitness and gamification complement one another:
1. Set Fitness Goals
All the trackers that store your data either via your smartphone or the smartwatch on your wrist already have goal setting systems and metrics.
Now imagine a system that not only allows you to set goals according to your own personal fitness goals but rewards you with badges once you attain them, giving you a sense of accomplishment.
This incentive acts as a form of positive reinforcement, which drives long term behavior change – the positive feelings associated with the experience will increase their motivation to continue performing the specific behavior in order to experience it again.
MYZONE is a fitness tracker that allows you to set daily, weekly or even monthly goals according to your own personal fitness goals, and has high-tech features such as a built-in heart rate monitor and Bluetooth technology.
It uses an algorithm that takes into account accumulated steps, heart rate and distance covered to determine the number of calories burnt by the user.
MyZone is meant for everyone from the average gym-goer who wants a way to accurately keep track of their performance capabilities in the long term, to professional athletes who want a competitive edge over their peers.
2. Create your fitness community
If you’re the kind of person who likes to set and achieve fitness goals, then you already know that it’s much more fun to reach them when you have some friends rooting for you and holding you accountable.
Most apps and devices that help you reach your fitness goals and track your data usually have some kind of social element integrated within it that helps create accountability and support. Being a part of a team that collectively has a common goal has shown to be much more effective than chasing after these goals by yourself.
For example Strava. Strava is an app that tracks your biking or running routes, allows you to share them with other people who are also using the app, and ranks the best performers (like yourself).
The app also allows you to rank other users, which creates a sense of competition while still being supportive. This encourages people to keep working towards their goals, as they want to be ranked higher on the leaderboard than their friends.
3. Numbers are just numbers
When you’re on a fitness journey, it can be easy to get lost in the data: how many steps you’ve taken, how many miles you’ve logged, how many minutes of the day you’re spending exercising.
But it’s important to look at those numbers and take them for what they are: numbers.
Without realizing it, we can put too much pressure on ourselves which can lead to burnout if left unchecked. We need to enjoy the journey and incorporate fitness into a healthy lifestyle. And we can do this by using “gamification” elements along the way that make exercise more fun and engaging!
For Gamified Solutions, get in touch with us.
If you are interested in learning more about gamified solutions for your organization, then look no further and give us a call.