Designing fitness - Graduate thesis

Fitness trackers are presented as the best way of engaging with health and managing physical activity. But a purely quantified and mechanistic view of the self has limitations. My goal is to design new ways of using existing technology, and designing new products, services and practices that build long term skills.


Designing practices for intrinsic motivation regarding fitness and health.


Exploring the use of control and conversation through and with technologies.

Using qualitative and quantitative methods to study qualitative and quantitative ways of being.


Understanding the background research in the space psychological and behavioral sciences helped me understand how people perceive risks and how risk communication motivates their behavior. 

Based on research papers that we read in class, these are two brief reports and one paper.



Using Python program analysed how people use fitness trackers.

1. Creating a masters features list across 7 trackers 

2. Defining key words for each feature and those related to emotions, motivation, health and behavior change

3. Scraping all 33,688 user reviews

4. Performing sentiment analysis of sentences that contain the keywords

5. Populating the data in SQl databases

6. Running queries to find interesting sentences and reviews

7. Manually reading the table to find patterns and draw inferences


The research led to brainstorming product and service ideas along a typical user journey. These were categorized as those that prescriptively, explicitly, implicitly changed behavior and thsoe that worked in the background space. The concepts ranged from physical to digital but used the temporal aspect of change over time and reactive product-service systems.

© 2020 by Shruti Aditya Chowdhury