Engaging families in lifestyle changes through social networking
Baghaei, Nilufar; Kimani, Stephen; Freyne, Jill; Brindal, Emily; Berkovsky, Shlomo; Smith, Greg
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Citation:Baghaei, N., Kimani, S., Freyne, J., Brindal, E., Berkovsky, S., and Smith, G. (2011). Engaging families in lifestyle vhanges through docial networking. International Journal of Human-Computer Interaction. 27(10) : 971-990.
Permanent link to Research Bank record:http://hdl.handle.net/10652/2202
Previous research has shown that providing family engagement and social support play important roles in weight management success, helping to achieve long-term lifestyle changes. Traditionally, the support provided by online health communities is primarily targeted at individuals and does not involve their families. We are proposing SOFA (SOcial FAmilies), a novel approach for engaging, motivating and persuading families to adopt a healthy lifestyle. SOFA is an online social network for families built on top of static health-related educational content. In this paper, we report the results of a live user study aimed at investigating how user profile representation and system assigned tasks influence users engagement with the system and change in their attitude towards healthy lifestyle. Our results show that representing family members as individuals increases the number of active family members as well as their retention, contribution and engagement with the network. The results further show that family-based social networks can have the potential to positively change the attitude of users towards healthy lifestyle