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The Development and Implementation of a Gamified Stair Climbing Intervention at an Individual Level Open Access


Other title
Stair Climbing
Type of item
Degree grantor
University of Alberta
Author or creator
Fairbairn, Shayna M
Supervisor and department
Mummery, William Kerry (Physical Education and Recreation)
Examining committee member and department
Stroulia, Eleni (Computing Science)
Jennings, Cally (Physical Education and Recreation)
Physical Education and Recreation

Date accepted
Graduation date
Master of Arts
Degree level
The addition of gamification in the health promotion field is an up and coming method that is being utilized to raise engagement and keep more participants involved to maximize the effectiveness of interventions. Gamification is most often used in conjunction with technology such as web-based interventions. Because this method is new there is limited research to show if gamification is an effective tool. The results of this study seek to help fill this void. Methods: A total of 109 participants were recruited from two work places in Edmonton, Alberta (three work sites). One work place was allocated to the intervention group and the other work place (two work sites) was allocated to the control group. A Solomon Four Group design was used for this study; a two-week baseline was used as the pretest. Both groups used the Fitbit One physical activity monitoring device to record the number of stairs they climbed. The control group recorded their stairs on a generic website that provided only numeric feedback; the intervention group recorded their data on a website that was built with gamified elements included. Results: A significant increase was found in the number of stairs climbed by the intervention group regardless of the presence of baseline, F(1, 29) = 4.20, p = .05. No significant correlation was found between engagement with the website and number of stairs climbed, r = .251, p = .067. When self-efficacy was broken down into the three categories no significant correlation between task self-efficacy and stairs climbed, r = .097, p = .357. However, significant positive correlations was found for both coping and scheduling self- efficacy, r = .251, p = .039 and r = .237, p = .023 respectively. Conclusion: The results of this study are encouraging with respect to the use of gamification as a tool to maximize the effectiveness of web-based physical activity interventions. Due to the study design used in this study we were able to isolate the effects of gamification and can say that there is a place for gamification within web-based interventions. The positive effects of gamification led to the intervention group to increase the number of stairs they climbed significantly more than the control group. The results of this study also lend support to the use of stair climbing as a modifiable target beahviour in a workplace setting.  
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