29 May '15, 3am

Q&A: B.J. Fogg Explains Why Fitness Gadgets Fail

Q&A: B.J. Fogg Explains Why Fitness Gadgets Fail

Hundreds of apps and consumer gadgets help count your calories, track your workouts, and monitor your progress toward your health goals. But studies show that most people stop using these tools within six months. B.J. Fogg , a Stanford professor and industry consultant who studies “persuasive technology,” explores whether technology can in fact change human behavior for the better. IEEE Spectrum: An app can tell me that a large McDonald’s chocolate shake contains 850 calories, and that I’ll have to jog for 2 hours to burn it off. How helpful is that? B.J. Fogg: There are two types of informational prompts: the “why” information that’s supposed to motivate you and the “how-to.” I don’t encourage the approach that uses constant nagging with the “why” motivation cues. A “how-to” prompt might say: “Here’s how to eat healthy when you’re in this airport.” Why not focus on motiva...

Full article: http://spectrum.ieee.org/biomedical/devices/qa-bj-fogg-ex...

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