Methodological protocol for the development of a mobile application for the promotion of physical activity based on gamification: CLUMPS

Ezequias Rodrigues Pestana, Sonny Állan Silva Bezerra, Cristiano Teixeira Mostarda, Emanuel Péricles Salvador

Texto completo:

PDF (English)


A methodological description item, with the objective of presenting the theoretical foundation and the development process of CLUMPS, a smartphone application designed and developed in Brazil, which aims to promote physical activity using gamification elements in its development proposal. The manuscript describes the application's components, its proposed intervention in the users' lifestyle and the epistemological basis on which the elements were built. Thus, CLUMPS was designed as a collection instrument and aggregator tool for interventions at the behavioral level, described as a mobile application. Gamified stimuli were used, such as counting steps, counting points, incentives, goals, challenges and rank, through the cognitive social theoretical basis to promote physical activity. The gamified strategies included in the development of CLUMPS can motivate the promotion of physical activity among users.

Palabras clave

gamification; mobile app; physical activity; intervention.


Pate RR. Physical activity and public health. A recommendation from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the American College of Sports Medicine. JAMA J Am Med Assoc. 1995;273(5):402-7. DOI:

Haskell WL, Lee M, Pate RR, Powell KE, Blair SN, Franklin BA, et al. Physical Activity and Public Health. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2007 [access 27/08/2021];39(8):1423-34. Available from:

Heath GW, Parra DC, Sarmiento OL, Andersen LB, Owen N, Goenka S, et al. Evidence-based intervention in physical activity: Lessons from around the world. Lancet. 2012;380(9838):272-81.

Internet World Stats. World Internet Users and Population Stats. 2021 [access 27/08/2021]. Available from:

Sawesi S, Rashrash M, Phalakornkule K, Carpenter JS, Jones JF. The Impact of Information Technology on Patient Engagement and Health Behavior Change: A Systematic Review of the Literature. JMIR Med Informatics. 2016 [access 27/08/2021];4(1):e1. Available from:

Müller AM, Maher CA, Vandelanotte C, Hingle M, Middelweerd A, Lopez ML, et al. Physical Activity, Sedentary Behavior, and Diet-Related eHealth and mHealth Research: Bibliometric Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2018 [access 27/08/2021];20(4):e122. Available from:

GSMA Intelligence. Global Data. 2018 [access 27/08/2021]. Available from:

Molla R. Recode. Two-thirds of adults worldwide will own a smartphone next year. 2017 [access 27/08/2021]. Available from:

Riley WT, Rivera DE, Atienza AA, Nilsen W, Allison SM, Mermelstein R. Health behavior models in the age of mobile interventions: are our theories up to the task? Transl Behav Med. 2011 [access 27/08/2021];1(1):53-71. Available from:

Middelweerd A, Mollee JS, van der Wal CN, Brug J, Velde SJ. Apps to promote physical activity among adults: a review and content analysis. Int J Behav Nutr Phys Act. 2014 [access 27/08/2021];11(1):97. Available from:

Dennison L, Morrison L, Conway G, Yardley L. Opportunities and Challenges for Smartphone Applications in Supporting Health Behavior change: Qualitative Study. J Med Internet Res. 2013 [access 27/08/2021];15(4):e86. Available from:

Reeves B, Read JL. Total Engagement: How Games and Virtual Worlds Are Changing the Way People Work and Businesses Compete. Boston: Harvard Business Review Press; 2009.

Deterding S, Dixon D, Khaled R, Nacke L. From game design elements to gamefulness: defining "gamification". In: Proceedings of the 15th International Academic MindTrek Conference: Envisioning Future Media Environments. 2011 Presented at: Academic MindTrek 2011; September 28-30, 2011; Tampere Finland. p. 9-15.

Romeo A, Edney S, Plotnikoff R, Curtis R, Ryan J, Sanders I, et al. Can Smartphone Apps Increase Physical Activity? Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. J Med Internet Res. 2019 [access 27/08/2021];21(3):e12053. Available from:

Mazeas A, Duclos M, Pereira B, Chalabaev A. Evaluating the Effectiveness of Gamification on Physical Activity: Systematic Review and Meta-analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. J Med Internet Res. 2022 [access 27/08/2021];24(1). Available from:

Edney SM, Olds TS, Ryan JC, Vandelanotte C, Plotnikoff RC, Curtis RG, et al. A Social Networking and Gamified App to Increase Physical Activity: Cluster RCT. Am J Prev Med. 2020 [access 27/08/2021];58(2). Available from:

Matthews J, Win KT, Oinas-Kukkonen H, Freeman M. Persuasive Technology in Mobile Applications Promoting Physical Activity: a Systematic Review. J Med Syst. 2016;40(3):72. Available from:

Shailaja K, Seetharamulu B, Jabbar MA. Machine Learning in Healthcare: A Review. In: 2018 Second International Conference on Electronics, Communication and Aerospace Technology (ICECA). IEEE; 2018 [access 27/08/2021]:910-4. Available from:

Costa ACS, Marchiori PZ. Gamificação, elementos de jogos e estratégia: uma matriz de referência. Rev Ciência da Informação e Doc. 2015;6(2):44. DOI:

Raichaski AM, Pereira MDS, Viana W, Tomasi CD, Bernhardt MDF. Gamificação aplicada à prática de hábitos de vida saudáveis. 2018 [access 27/08/2021];284-7. Available from:

Lamboglia CMGF, Silva CAB, Vasconcelos Filho JE, Carvalho LM, Silva Junior FVI, Mumford L. O vilão se torna mocinho: uma perspectiva inovadora da utilização das tecnologias de entretenimento e comunicação para a promoção e práticas em saúde. In: Santos Z. MAS, Frota MA, Martins ABT (org.). Tecnologias em saúde: da abordagem teórica a construção e aplicação no cenário do cuidado. Fortaleza: EdUECE, 2016. p.43-63.

Kramer JN, Künzler F, Mishra V, Smith SN, Kotz D, Scholz U, et al. Which Components of a Smartphone Walking App Help Users to Reach Personalized Step Goals? Results from an Optimization Trial. Annals of Behavioral Medicine. 2020;54(7):518-28. DOI:

Ainsworth BE, Haskell WL, Herrmann SD, Meckes N, Bassett DR, Tudor-Locke C, et al. 2011 Compendium of Physical Activities. Med Sci Sport Exerc. 2011 [access 27/08/2021];43(8):1575-81. Available from:

F Saint-Maurice PP, Troiano RR, Bassett Jr DI, Graubard BA, Carlson SJ, Shiroma E, et al. Association of Daily Step Count and Step Intensitiy With Mortality Among US Adults.

Sasaki J, Coutinho A, Santos C, Bertuol C, Minatto G, Berria J, et al. Orientações para utilização de acelerômetros no Brasil. Rev Bras Atividade Física Saúde. 2017 [access 27/08/2021];22(2). Available from:

Florindo AA, Latorre M do RD de O, Santos ECM dos, Negrão CE, Azevedo LF, Segurado AAC. Validity and reliability of the Baecke questionnaire for the evaluation of habitual physical activity among people living with HIV/AIDS. Cad Saude Publica. 2006 [access 27/08/2021];(3):535-41. Available from:

WHO. WHO Guidelines on physical activity and sedentary behavior. World Health Organization. 2020 [access 27/08/2021]:4. Available from:

Knight E, Stuckey MI, Prapavessis H, Petrella RJ. Public Health Guidelines for Physical Activity: Is There an App for That? A Review of Android and Apple App Stores. JMIR mHealth uHealth. 2015 [access 27/08/2021];3(2):e43. Available from:

Locke EA. Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive View Social Foundations of Thought and Action: A Social-Cognitive View, by Bandura Albert. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall, 1986, 617 pp, cloth. Acad Manag Rev. 1987 Jan;12(1):169-71. DOI:

Choi J, Lee JH, Vittinghoff E, Fukuoka Y. mHealth Physical Activity Intervention: A Randomized Pilot Study in Physically Inactive Gestantes. Matern Criança. J Saúde. 2016;20(5):1091-1101. DOI: https://doi,org/10.1007/s10995-015-1895-7

Ek A, Alexandrou C, Söderström E, Bergman P, Delisle Nyström C, Direito A, et al. Effectiveness of a 3-Month Mobile Phone – Based Behavior Change Program on Active Transportation and Physical Activity in Adults: Randomized Controlled Trial. JMIR Mhealth Uhealth, v.8, n.6, 2020. DOI:

Gremaud A, Carr J, Simmering JE, Evans N, Cremer J, Segre A, et al. Gamifying Accelerometer Use Increases Physical Activity Levels of Sedentary Office Workers. J Am Heart Assoc. 2018;2(7). DOI:

Corepal R, Best P, O'Neill R, Kee F, Badham J, Dunne L, et al. A feasibility study of 'The StepSmart Challenge' to promote physical activity in adolescents. Pilot Feasibility Stud. 2019;5:132. DOI:

Maher C, Ferguson M, Vandelanotte C, Plotnikoff R, De BI, Thomas S, et al. A web-based, social networking physical activity intervention for insufficiently active adults delivered via facebook app: randomized controlled trial. J Med Internet Res. 2015;17(7):e174. DOI:

Kurtzman GW, Day SC, Small DS, Lynch M, Zhu J, Wang W, et al. Social incentives and gamification to promote weight loss: the LOSE IT randomized, controlled trial. J Gen Intern Med. 2018;33(10):1669-75. DOI:

Zuckerman O, Gal-Oz A. Deconstructing gamification: evaluating the effectiveness of continuous measurement, virtual rewards, and social comparison for promoting physical activity. Pers Ubiquit Comput. 2014;18(7):1705-19. DOI:

Höchsmann C, Müller O, Ambühl M, Klenk C, Königstein K, Infanger D, et al. Novel smartphone game improves physical activity behavior in type 2 diabetes. Am J Prev Med. 2019;57(1):41-50. DOI:

Copyright (c) 2023 Ezequias Rodrigues Pestana, Sonny Állan Silva Bezerra, Cristiano Teixeira Mostarda, Emanuel Péricles Salvador

Licencia de Creative Commons
Esta obra está bajo una licencia de Creative Commons Reconocimiento-NoComercial-CompartirIgual 4.0 Internacional.