Get moving to manage stress

How wellbeing self-tracking apps can support exercise behaviour change for people experiencing stress

Physical activity is an effective stress management technique. Self-tracking and stress management apps have the potential to support people in both maintaining physical activity and helping them manage their stress. As 74% of UK adults reported feeling overwhelmed at least at some point during 2018, it is essential to identify how to design and develop self-tracking tools that can promote physical activity and align with the needs of stressed individuals.

The aims of this project are to investigate how people use stress and physical activity monitoring and management apps and which strategies and app features are the most effective for reducing stress and driving behaviour change. This research will focus on the millennial population as this population experiences the most stress out of all other age groups. The participants will be asked to use the Welltory (stress, exercise, sleep monitoring) and Coach.me (goal setting/monitoring) apps for a period of 3-weeks in the summer of 2018. After completing the self-tracking part of the study, they will be invited to take part in a series of focus groups where they will be asked to discuss their use of and experiences with the apps.

The outcomes of this research will help to inform the design and development of wellbeing self-tracking apps that can drive health behaviour change even in an emotionally loaded context, i.e., when experiencing stress.