Many people, especially those in sedentary occupations, fail to achieve the recommended levels of physical activity. Virtual reality (VR) games have the potential to overcome this because they are fun and also can be physically demanding. This paper explores whether a VR game studio can help workers in sedentary jobs to get valuable levels of exercise. We studied how 11 participants used our VR game studio in a sedentary workplace over 8-weeks and their perceptions of the experience. We analysed the physical exertion in the VR game studio, comparing this to their step counts from a smartwatch. All participants achieved valuable levels of physical activity and mood benefits. Importantly, for 6 participants, only with the VR game studio did they meet recommended activity levels. Our key contributions are insights about the use of a workplace VR game studio and its health benefits.
Numerous technologies now exist for promoting more active lifestyles. However, while quantitative data representations (e.g., charts, graphs, and statistical reports) typify most health tools, growing evidence suggests such feedback can not only fail to motivate behavior but may also harm self-integrity and fuel negative mindsets about exercise. Our research seeks to devise alternative, more qualitative schemes for encoding personal information. In particular, this paper explores the design of data-driven narratives, given the intuitive and persuasive power of stories. We present WhoIsZuki, a smartphone application that visualizes physical activities and goals as components of a multi-chapter quest, where the main character's progress is tied to the user's. We report on our design process involving online surveys, in-lab studies, and in-the-wild deployments, aimed at refining the interface and the narrative and gaining a deep understanding of people's experiences with this type of feedback. From these insights, we contribute recommendations to guide future development of narrative-based applications for motivating healthy behavior.
There is increased interest in reducing sedentary behavior of office workers to combat the negative health effects of prolonged sitting. Walking meetings offer a promising solution to this problem as they facilitate a physically active way of working. To inform future development of technologies supporting these type of meetings, in-depth qualitative insights into people's experiences of walking meetings are needed. We conducted semi-structured walking interviews (N=16) to identify key drivers and barriers for walking meetings in a living lab setting by using the 'WorkWalk'. The 'WorkWalk' is a 1.8 km walking route indicated by a dotted blue line with outdoor meeting points, integrated into the room booking system. Our findings provide insights into how walking meetings are experienced and affect the set-up and social dynamics of meetings. We offer design recommendations for the development of future technologies and service design elements to support walking meetings and active ways of working.
Physical rehabilitation typically requires therapists to make judgements about patient movement and functional improvement using subjective observation. This process makes it challenging to quantitatively track, compute and predict long-term patient improvement. We therefore propose a novel methodical approach to the standardized and interpretable quantification of patient movement during rehabilitation. We describe the expert-led development of a movement assessment rubric and an accompanying quantitative rating system. We present our movement capture and annotation computational tools designed to implement the rubric and assist therapists in the quantitative documentation and assessment of rehabilitation. We describe results from a movement capture study of the tool with nine stroke survivors and a movement rating study with four therapists. Findings from these studies highlight potential optimal methodical process paths for individuals engaged in capturing, understanding and predicting human movement performance.
Virtual Reality (VR) holds the promise of providing engaging embodied experiences, but little is known about how people with disabilities engage with it. We explore challenges and opportunities of VR gaming for wheelchair users. First, we present findings from a survey that received 25 responses and gives insights into wheelchair users' motives to (non-) engage with VR and their experiences. Drawing from this survey, we derive design implications which we tested through implementation and qualitative evaluation of three full-body VR game prototypes with 18 participants. Our results show that VR gaming engages wheelchair users, though nuanced consideration is required for the design of embodied immersive experiences for minority bodies, and we illustrate how designers can create meaningful, positive experiences.