Toronto Metropolitan University
Khan, Aadil MRP.pdf (874.74 kB)

Let's Get Physical: Exploring Gamification in Fitness Apps to Sustain User Engagement

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posted on 2023-05-25, 14:13 authored by Aadil Khan

Think about the last time you tried to download a fitness app. Odds are, you were met with a lot of options. With over 320,000 digital health apps available (Young, 2018), mobile users can become overwhelmed by choice (Wu, 2017) and about 71% end up dropping out of app based fitness programs within the first 3 months (Osypenko, 2017). While fitness apps can attract new users and generate high overall downloads through the utilization of gamification, novel experiences, and behavior change strategies, the research in this project has identified that these apps struggle to keep users engaged and using the app beyond the first 1-3 months. This project seeks to understand more about how gamification in fitness apps can be improved and how knowledge from game design and player-styles / personality types can be leveraged into creating a fitness program designed to motivate and engage specific users towards completing a fitness goal. This project aims to create a prototype of a mobile fitness-game experience that attempts to serve as a medium that gets users interested in getting active but also playing a game that is fun, motivating, and a way to act as a stepping stone for their future fitness endeavors. This prototype will be tested through iterative user-testing and serves as an artifact, demonstrating the theorized gameplay mechanics and strategies outlined in the paper. 





  • Master of Digital Media


  • Digital Media

Granting Institution

Ryerson University

LAC Thesis Type

  • MRP

Thesis Advisor

Steve Cober