Not Quite Playing the Game? Mobile Applications for Healthier Lifestyles

Lynne Eagle, Stephan Dahl, Melody Muscat, David R. Low

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This paper focuses on the use of mobile “app”-based interventions as tools to influence health-related behaviour. Apps are software applications designed to run on smart phones and other mobile devices We review the extensive but fragmented literature relating to serious games and gamification in order to identify the key concepts and frameworks that can be used to underpin the design and evaluation of these apps. We then use these criteria to review a range of current apps developed by one public body, the UK NHS and commercial developers of health-related apps and compare these to commercial apps promoting unhealthy food items. We suggest that there are serious weaknesses evident in the apps provided by public bodies and that this sector could learn from an analysis of the development strategies used in the commercial sector. Directions for future research conclude the paper.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationDevelopments in Marketing Science
Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
EditorsNitza Jones
Place of PublicationNew York
PublisherSpringer Nature
Number of pages11
Publication statusPublished - 2016
Externally publishedYes

Publication series

NameDevelopments in Marketing Science: Proceedings of the Academy of Marketing Science
ISSN (Print)2363-6165
ISSN (Electronic)2363-6173


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