University of Twente Student Theses


Community-based design to help older adults to increase their physical activity

Marčetić, N. (2022) Community-based design to help older adults to increase their physical activity.

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Abstract:Even though it is anticipated that the number of older adults will double over the next 30 years, not much is being done to protect their health and well-being as they age. According to research in this field, older person's social connections and interactions—rather than their socioeconomic standing, gender, or race—are the strongest predictors of their health. Furthermore, it has been established that a person's level of physical activity is strongly influenced by their social environment. The goal of this study is to develop a system that motivates older adults to increase their physical activity through socialization. I closely collaborated with older adults themselves through observations, interviews, and brainstorming sessions. The research took place in suburban neighbourhoods of Belgrade, the capital of Serbia. Based on the data gathered, a system consisting of a network of 24 benches was created. The system informs those sitting on a bench where other people are and encourages them to move to another bench. Additionally, an application was designed to provide extra features, including the ability to connect to other users, see where they are in the area, and compete with them to be the most physically active, as well as the ability to save data and track user's progress. The evaluation revealed that the participants were positive about the system. The prototype was experienced as straightforward, easy to use and motivating. There were no significant criticisms made, except the suggestions of possible additions to the features and product overall. There are strong reasons to believe that the smart bench system could have a positive impact on the social and physical activities of older adults.
Item Type:Essay (Bachelor)
Faculty:EEMCS: Electrical Engineering, Mathematics and Computer Science
Subject:42 biology, 54 computer science, 58 process technology, 71 sociology, 73 cultural anthropology, 77 psychology
Programme:Creative Technology BSc (50447)
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