When mobility meets wellness.

At an Aging2.0 event at the USC Davis School of Gerontology in April 2013, the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing listened to a presentation from the developer of MOVN, a new app designed to promote physical activity and social connectedness. Realizing the important potential for a technology-enabled, mobile solution designed to address the chronic conditions that stem from sedentary behavior among older adults, the Front Porch Center for Innovation and Wellbeing (FPCIW) approached the company to help test the platform.

In order to target an active, mobile and diverse population for a study, FPCIW recruited members of the Los Angeles OASIS lifelong learning community to participate in a research pilot. Moving Analytics distributed smartphones to a group of individuals who enrolled in a 3-week intervention to understand attitudinal behaviors and the feasibility of smartphone devices as activity trackers among older adults. Moving Analytics collaborated with FPCIW to organize trainings, develop study tools, and conduct focus group discussions.

The pilot study found that the main motivation for the participants to enroll in the program was to understand and increase their daily physical activity to address weight-related health conditions. To this end, goal-setting and coaching messages were important features of the app. One of the critical learnings from the pilot was the role that social connectedness and competition played in motivating the participants.

FPCIW is currently exploring additional research opportunities with the USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy to examine MOVN’s impact on physical activity and sedentary behavior.

Read the research findings on this pilot

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