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Gamified Wearable Fitness Tracker For Physical Activity: A Comprehensive Literature Review

Inje Cho, Kyriaki Kaplanidou, Shintaro Sato

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Recently, gamified wearable fitness trackers have received greater attention and usage among sport consumers. Although a moderate amount of aerobic physical activity can significantly reduce the risk of many serious illnesses, physical inactivity issues are still prominent. Although wearable fitness trackers have the potential to contribute to physical activity engagement and sustainable health outcomes, there are dwindling engagement and discontinuance issues. Thus, examining its gamification elements and role in physical activity becomes critical. This study examined the gamification elements in wearable fitness trackers and their role in physical activity and sports engagement. A comprehensive literature review yielded 26 articles that empirically measured a variety of gamification features and the effect of the device on physical activity and sports engagement. The study suggests three key gamification themes: goal-based, social-based, and rewards-based gamification that can be a point of interest for future scholars and practitioners. Based on the review, we propose a conceptual framework that embraces motivational affordances and engagement in physical activity and sports.