It is predicted that by 2030 more than 80% of the European population will live in cities. With cities being places full of unhealthy temptations, it is of increasing importance to help cities to become places that encourage healthy lifestyle behaviors and thereof promote health and wellbeing (i.e. ‘Urban Health’). Hence, cities are important arenas and actors for developing and implementing knowledge on increasing health and wellbeing.
One promising avenue is by harnessing the potential of digital (game)technologies to support people in making healthier choices. By utilizing the power and fun of technology and games, healthy behaviors can become not only the more easy option, but also the more fun and enjoying option. The approach of using elements or techniques from games outside the game context (e.g. to promote Urban Health) is called ‘Gamification’.
Gamifying Urban Health
In sum, Gamifying Urban Health is the promotion of healthy lifestyles in urban environments by harnessing the potential of digital (game) technologies. In the research program Gamifying Urban Health, I develop and implement knowledge on the effectiveness and added value of gamification for promoting healthy lifestyle behaviors in the urban environment.