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A Long-Term Investigation on the Effects of (Personalized) Gamification on Course Participation in a Gym

Maximilian Altmeyer; Marc Schubhan; Antonio Krüger; Pascal Lessel
In: Proceedings of the 5th International GamiFIN Conference. International GamiFIN Conference (GamiFIN-2021), April 7-10, Levi, Finland, CEUR-WS, 2021.


Gamification is frequently used to motivate people getting more physically active. However, most systems follow a one-size-fits-all gamification approach, although past research has shown that interpersonal differences exist in the perception of gamification elements. Also, most studies investigating the effects of gamification are rather short, although it has been shown that gamification can suffer from novelty effects. In this paper, we address both these issues by investigating whether gamification elements, integrated into a fitness course booking system, have an effect on how frequently users participate in fitness courses in a gym (N=52) over a duration of 275 days (548 days including baseline). Also, the gamification elements that we implemented are tailored to specific Hexad user types, which allows us to investigate whether using suitable gamification elements leads to an increased course participation. Our results show that gamification increased the participation in fitness courses significantly and that users who received a suitable set of gamification elements--according to their Hexad user type--increased their participation significantly more than others.