Gamification - training with a lot of fun

A lot of people nowadays seem to have fun with sports only when they watch or play them on the TV, while they sit on the sofa. Possibly, because some people think the real version is made up of sweat, tiredness and time away from the comfort of the house. For many decades now, a large part of the population of the Western world has been living in a state of economic well-being, much to the detriment of the physical one.

Though it is true that once people suffered from hardship, malnutrition and physical consumption caused by heavy work and carried out in very bad conditions, today the situation has been completely reversed. Today we fall ill for an excessively sedentary lifestyle, for eating and drinking too much and for an increasingly widespread laziness, which pushes us to move only by car, to delegate our domestic tasks to increasingly automated household appliances and to avoid efforts that are not indispensable.

So how can we convince these people to get up from the sofa and move? The mechanisms of gamification can give some concrete help.

Gamification & Fitness, the App is served

If the Internet has represented the greatest revolution in human history, the technologies and devices it has enabled are certainly the beating heart of this revolution, because they have unleashed the potential of the World Wide Web and brought it into every moment of people's lives.

Today we don't realize it, but in little more than 10 years we have become connected human beings, enhanced by technology and capable of things that until a few years ago we believed were unimaginable. Among these, the possibility to manage our lifestyle through simple apps, mostly free and easy to use. Some of them have already had an incredible impact on people's lives: for example in the way we conceive physical activities and sports. In very few years, the world of sports is recording an enormous growth, and part of the merit must surely be given to the mechanisms of gamification used in many fitness Apps.

But what makes them so popular? There are a few reasons for this:

  • Help to make the fatigue and effort required by sporting activity more enjoyable
  • They stimulate competitiveness and the desire to achieve quantifiable goals (which are easier to achieve than certificates, trophies or real medals)
  • They help people connect each other according to their sporting passions, as well as compare their results
  • They keep track of what people have done, to encourage them to do more and not to forget the goals they have achieved
  • Stimulate activity in a neutral way, without the negative impact on one’s pride that a friend or relative would otherwise have
  • They work on many different devices and are suitable for everyone
This and much more make training and sports related Apps the perfect companions for our physical and mental well-being, which everyone should pursue for themselves and for others.

Wellness apps & Gamification: some examples

The apps that follow are not necessarily the best, most popular or most downloaded apps, but represent quite clearly the picture offered by gamification.

  • Zombies Run is an App similar to the more formal and widespread Runtastic, which monitors our physical activity and makes us run out of fear, simulating the way we would escape from chasing and biting zombies, in a series of levels that follow one another, just like in a video game.
  • Strava is an App that adds to the typical features of sports applications and a series of leisure opportunities, as well as the ability to collect trophies and assign kudos (awards) to the most interesting or special activities carried out by friends and contacts.
  • Habitica: Gamify your Tasks is a broader App, because the objectives that the app allows you to pursue are not only those related to sport or fitness, but relate to the lifestyle of people in many more areas (school and work, health and sports, culture).
  • MYCYCLING is the App developed by Technogym in combination with the stable and easy to carry cycling system, which allows fans of all cycling categories (road, mountain bike, triathlon, etc.) to train at home with the App and dedicated training programs, thus improving indoor and outdoor performance. The App connects with Garmin, Strava and Zwift accounts for a complete overview of your training data.
  • SKILLROW APP, another Technogym app, increases user engagement as they train with SKILLROW. Using this app you can challenge friends and other users in online sports competitions, while monitoring your training data in real time.
In addition to these, there are dozens of Apps that use the mechanisms of gamification to motivate, entertain and help people to achieve their goals and share them with others, leveraging the levers of personal satisfaction and collective commitment. These levers are leading thousands of people to run in the street on foot or by bike, to compete on the playing fields of many sports and to drastically review their lifestyles, getting back to shape and improving their overall wellbeing.

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