SOFA: An Online Social Network for Engaging and Motivating Families to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle
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Citation:Baghaei, N., Freyne, j., Kimani, S., Smith, G., Berkovsky, S., Bhandari, D., Colineau, N., and Paris, C. (2009). SOFA: An Online Social Network for Engaging and Motivating Families to Adopt a Healthy Lifestyle. Proc. Annual Conference of the Australian Computer-Human Interaction Special Interest Group (OZCHI). Melbourne, Australia, pp. 269-272.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2200
Overweight and obesity have become a global epidemic and are increasing rapidly. Previous research has shown that providing social support and family support has profound roles on the weight management of individuals. However, the support provided by online health communities is outside the family context and is targeted at individuals. We are proposing SOFA (SOcial FAmily), an online social networking system aimed to engage and motivate families to adopt a healthy lifestyle through exposure to educational information on diet exercise and a range of other healthy living information. In this paper, we describe SOFA’s features, the research questions that we are investigating and some preliminary results from a live deployment. The results showed that adding a social layer can considerably increase user engagement with static educational content and showed that the provision of family based profiles reduced the activity levels of individual family members when compared to those with individual profiles.