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Many people have turned to technological tools to help them be physically active. To better understand how goal-setting, rewards, self-monitoring, and sharing can encourage physical activity, we designed a mobile phone application and deployed it in a four-week field study (n=23).
Participants found it beneficial to have secondary and primary weekly goals and to receive non-judgmental reminders. However, participants had problems with some features that are commonly used in practice and suggested in the literature. For example, trophies and ribbons failed to motivate most participants, which raises questions about how such rewards should be designed. A feature to post updates to a subset of their Facebook NewsFeed created some benefits, but barriers remained for most participants.