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Title: Promotion of Healthy Lifestyles to Teenagers with Mobile Devices: A Case Study in Portugal
Authors: Villasana, María Vanessa
Pires, Ivan Miguel
Sá, Juliana
Garcia, Nuno M
Teixeira, Maria Canavarro
Zdravevski, Eftim 
CHorbev, Ivan 
Lameski, Petre 
Issue Date: 2-Sep-2020
Publisher: MDPI AG
Journal: Healthcare (Basel, Switzerland)
Abstract: Educating teenagers about nutrition and promoting active lifestyles is essential in reducing the long-term health risks and one idea to achieve this is by using mobile applications. Previous studies showed that the existing mobile applications have similar functionalities, such as intervention with questionnaires, and the use of gamification techniques to improve interactiveness. However, unlike our study, some studies are not validated and verified by healthcare professionals. Additionally, this study intends to promote the interaction between the teenagers and the medical communities. In this study, we analyze the benefits of the proposed mobile application, which features monitoring of physical activity, daily tips and curiosities, questionnaires, and gamification through earning points. Most of the teenagers were satisfied with the physical activity monitoring and found the tips, curiosities, and weekly questionnaires useful. The study started with 26 teenagers from two schools in the center of Portugal that would use the mobile application for five weeks. Still, at the end of the study, only 7 teenagers finalized the study. The decreasing number of teenagers in the study was affected by the lack of social interaction caused by the pandemic situation. During the period, the mobile application would engage the users with notifications on nutrition and physical activity, challenges concerning the number of steps and calories they would have to spend, and questionnaires related to the curiosities and suggestions from the previous week. We used Fisher's test to investigate the relationship between the assessment obtained in the responses to the questionnaires, and the adoption of healthier eating and sports practices. In summary, participants were satisfied with the mobile application and experienced some improvements in diet and habits.
ISSN: 2227-9032
DOI: 10.3390/healthcare8030315
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Computer Science and Engineering: Journal Articles

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