The Psychology Behind Fitness Apps

The Iowa State Daily breaks down some of the reasons why so many find fitness apps so useful.

Said Leigh Phillips, assistant professor in the Iowa State University psychology department and specialist in health-related behavior: “There’s a cognitive behavioral technique called contingency contracting. It’s a way of getting yourself engaged in a behavior because if you don’t, it’s embarrassing, or something bad happens… It might be if I don’t do this, then I’m going to have to post it on social media and embarrass myself. Or, it could be positive where it’s kind of a reward. People are telling others that they were able to do this.”

The piece continues: “Phillips also agreed that social media helps connect people who are not physically in the same location, but that’s not the only benefit… Motivation from others also plays an important role.”

“’People are motivated by what others are doing, what their peers are doing, what they perceive their peers to be doing,’ Phillips said. ‘One’s peers or family members could be the reason why someone starts exercising in the first place.’”

Indeed, the opportunity to use exercise as a way to connect with others continues to be a key factor behind the growing social/exercise trend.