Improving adult health using real reward nudges through a gamification system

Improving adult health using real reward nudges through a gamification system Dr Kirk Plannger, Prof Ko de Ruyter, Dr Sotiris Vandoros, Freddie Dean (King’s College London); Dr Colin Campbell (University of San Diego); Dr Karen Robson (University of Windsor); Mr Marcile Moulene (HiMotiv)

This project aims to improve health by developing a gamification system where adults can earn points for physical activity and redeem them for real rewards. Our pilot study reveals that real rewards act as a motivational catalyst to encourage increased activity and, if sustained, this increased activity can become habit. We need to understand when and why real rewards are the most effective in increasing activity so that health benefits can be maximized. We need to make persuasive nudges that encourage increases in activity in order to improve health. We need to optimise these persuasive nudges in terms of their utility and cost-effectiveness in order to encourage increased activity and improved health. We will develop, make, and optimise real rewards and health messages that compel working adults to increase their activity and improve their health. We will develop real rewards and health messages in consultation with working adults to ensure their salience and relevance. We will make emails that promote real rewards and health messages in order to compel staff to increase their activity and improve health. We will test and optimise the real rewards and health messages through a randomised field experiment over several weeks using a gamification system and we will evaluate their utility and cost-effectiveness. We will develop a future research agenda focused on improving the health of other communities using persuasive nudges built on the outcomes of an industry stakeholder workshop that will reflect on the study’s findings.