GetAMoveOn Network+ Research Challenges

In May 2017 we held a symposium bringing together a range of experts to help stimulate debate about the role of current and future technologies in enhancing levels of activity and movement in our three target groups. The symposium included a workshop to help us start mapping out our research agenda. This video summarises the research challenges identified in the workshop.

How do we get people to move more? Behaviour Change Workshop

Most of us sit for too long each day, even though we know we should be more active. So what might make us actually get up off our backsides? In February 2018, we held a workshop on Behaviour Change Interventions to Address Sedentarism to explore the role of behaviour change theories in digital technology interventions to get people moving more. This video gives a taste of what went on and an overview of some of the work being done by researchers and practitioners in the field.

Wearables in Primary Care: Innovation Workshop

In their GetAMoveOn thinkpiece Dr David Ellis and Dr Lukasz Piwek considered how future wearable interventions might be designed from the ground up to maximise their success. To kick-start this process, they held an interdisciplinary meeting on July 13th 2018 funded by the GetAMoveOn Network+ to bring together health technologists and those working in NHS primary care. So what new ideas did they come up with that could one day be prescribed by GPs to get patients moving more?

What does health look like? Visualising health stats from wearables

Most fitness gadgets count things like steps, calories and heart-beats, but once the novelty of tracking these numbers has worn off, many people just stop. How we can we make people’s activity stats more engaging, and make gadgets that people want to keep using? Dr David Ellis and the artist Laura Pullig ran a hands-on workshop where people could experiment with turning their fitness data into unique and colourful designs: not just fun for participants, it also challenges researchers and designers to think in new ways about what useful and engaging feedback could look like.

Active Minds: Physical Activity, Mental Health and Digital Technology

There have been few opportunities for technology researchers and mental health researchers to come together to discuss physical activity technology. As a result, technology solutions can be inappropriate and health researchers can remain unaware of new innovations. To address this, Dr Maki Rooksby from the University of Glasgow led an interdisciplinary workshop which took place on 18th/19th July 2018, funded by the GetAMoveOn Network+ to explore the relationship between mental health, physical (in)activity, and the challenges of designing technology solutions to address these.

Active Minds: Mindfulness on the Go

Rohan Gunatillake is the creator of Buddhify, a meditation app designed to fit meditation into a modern busy lifestyle. He was named by Wired magazine in their Smart List of 50 people who will change the world. As part of the Active Minds workshop, exploring the links between physical activity and mental health, Rohan led a practical session about mindful movement - Mindfulness On-the-Go.

What does health feel like? Part 1 - Exploring our health data with smart materials

What does our health data really mean to us, and does the way we experience it change what we do to stay fit and healthy? Marion Lean from the Royal College of Art set out to explore these questions with a women’s community sports group, Haringey Rhinos. Participants tried out new ways collecting movement data through knitted pressure sensors, and new, sensory ways of experiencing it, rather than just as a set of numbers. The outputs of this workshop will help to inform thinking about how best to present health data in ways that are meaningful and motivational, and how smart textiles and design practice can be applied to produce interventions and objects that help people to adopt healthier lifestyle habits.

What does health feel like? Part 2 - Exploring sensory feedback from wearables

As part of the London Design Festival 2018, Marion Lean, a PhD design researcher at the Royal College of Art, created an interactive installation inspired by the concept of a Rube Goldberg machine, in which one action triggers the next in a domino effect: she connected an exercise pad made with textile sensors to a sculpture made from a series of giant marble runs. The set-up invites you to experience physical activity data in a playful way: when you interact with the exercise pad by moving, this triggers the marble run, eliciting a childlike feeling of wonder and satisfaction. The installation is part of research project using materials to explore the experience of systems and technologies designed to aid behaviour change, and followed on from Marion’s workshop with the Haringey Rhinos.