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Everyday experiences of using fitness devices: A thematic analysis

Lomax, E, OWEN, Alison and TAYLOR, Jennifer (2022) Everyday experiences of using fitness devices: A thematic analysis. Journal of Qualitative Research in Sports Studies, 16 (1). pp. 29-44. ISSN 2755-5240

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Abstract or description

Fitness devices such as Fitbits and Apple watches are designed to motivate people and their fitness, and are commonly worn on the wrist to help increase physical activity by monitoring aspects of health such as step count, energy expenditure and calories consumed (Canhoto and Arp 2017). Previous research has quantitatively measured elements of fitness devices such as the effectiveness and reliability, however, there has been a lack of research exploring people’s experiences of using these devices. Therefore, in this qualitative study, semi-structured interviews were conducted with thirteen adults (eleven females, two males) aged 24-60 years old to explore their experiences. Four themes were identified which capture the participants’ experiences of using fitness devices: 1) Part of the individual, 2) Monitoring and validating health conditions, 3) Like a personal trainer and 4) Competition: with yourself and others. Whilst experiences of using fitness devices were mainly positive, there is potential for these devices to lead to a range of negative emotions. The importance of setting realistic and appropriate goals is highlighted to avoid potentially negative implications of not meeting targets. Implications for health promotion are discussed including the need for increased education and training on appropriate goal setting for fitness device users.

Item Type: Article
Faculty: School of Life Sciences and Education > Psychology and Counselling
Depositing User: Alison OWEN
Date Deposited: 22 Mar 2023 13:26
Last Modified: 23 Mar 2023 04:30

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