An Examination of App Features and Individual Differences on Mobile Fitness App Adoption

Yunwen Wang, Purdue University


Mobile fitness apps are increasing the ways in which smartphone users self-manage their physical health needs. Prior research has found that app features and functionality may be linked to the potential success of fitness apps. However, research to date has not sought to systematically investigate how these functions impact user response to the apps especially adoption intent. This project reports the results of two studies looking at mobile fitness app characteristics and user attitudes. Study one used content analysis and hierarchical cluster analysis on 98 fitness iPhone apps to identify natural groupings through cataloging app functionality and features. It identified four prototype app profiles based on feature combinations: Tutor Apps, Recorder Apps, Game Companion Apps, and Cheerleader Apps. Functional themes and app profiles were differentially related to app satisfaction but were not related to app popularity. Study two used an online survey via MTurk to examine how individual differences affect app feature preference, and to test if attitudes, perceived norms, and perceived behavioral control on fitness app adoption predict adoption intent. The research model of study one was adapted from the Theory of Reasoned Action (TRA). Results are discussed in terms of implication on mobile health application design to improve impact on consumer health outcomes.




Collins, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Communication|Electrical engineering|Public health

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