LISTEN UP, BYU. MORE LIKE Y B U. MORE LIKE CAN’T RELY ON U FOR ANYTHING. YOU COME INTO MY HOUSE. YOU INSULT MY RUNNING APP
It was a pain to run a single mile before Zombies, Run. I hated running. Even if it was part of another sport. On top of that, I am a working college student who had so much to do that it’s hard to feel any motivation for exercise.
Z,R changed it. Changed it ALL. I can happily run three miles. Normally I would do six. PER DAY. I JUST DID A RACE IN WHICH I RAN 15.5 MILES. I feel good now when I run. I didn’t feel that before starting Z,R. Do NOT tell me that this app alone hasn’t affected my long-term healthy behaviors. Do NOT. I now don’t feel any hesitation about running because I know that I can do it, and that I’ll feel good afterwards.
Yes, I read the study and am not just dissing it out of loyalty, lol. I don’t agree with a lot of their points and I thought it’d be interesting to hear any opinions contrasting to mine, considering we all own one of the major apps under discussion.
…I just realized that this is kind of long. I’ll put it under a cut.
Zombies Run is a motivation tool. However…motivation is key to kickstarting a healthy lifestyle. Nothing, and I mean nothing, has gotten me into exercise the way Zombies Run has. I would go for a mile before and be shattered…and then never run again. ZR has me running two miles every two days, like clockwork. Its motivational factor has started to push me into a running routine, a running lifestyle. Not just the one off run and then never do it again. Zombies Run changed my lifestyle for the better, and no one can tell me otherwise.
The biggest thing for me is that ZR makes running enjoyable. And if there’s one thing I’ve learned about people it’s that they aren’t going to do things they don’t enjoy just because “they should.” I like running when it’s with ZR. I’m excited to buy my next pair of running shoes. I’m proud when I can do a mile a little faster or run a little longer. And it all started because of this app and the story.
I don’t see a link to the actual study, but I suppose that’s alright. From what I’m seeing here I doubt that I would do anything other than disagree with it.
I’m studying the ACE manual (and other materials) to prep for their certification exam. The impression that I get when reading this post is that the BYU “researchers” know a few key points, but don’t actually understand them. For example, the ACE manual often reiterates the importance of the person (your client) being intrinsically motivated. This is the best way to ensure that the person continues living a healthy life style, along with journaling, prepping for relapse, stimulus control, social support and so on.
Basically, intrinsic motivation is the goal. What BYU does not seem to understand is that the entire career of the fitness professional is focused on that goal: Assisting the client develop intrinsic motivation. All of the teaching, all of the motivation, all of the feedback, it’s all focused on guiding the person to maintaining a healthy life style on their own.
"Teaching a [person] to fish", to borrow from and paraphrase an old expression.
As for using themselves as subjects and the use of comments in the apps’ ratings, this all adds up to make me wonder if these weren’t undergrads doing a bit of quick & simple homework. Yet even if that were true, this still makes little to no sense. As an undergrad in psychology we were required to conduct research before graduating. It was the entire process, because it was actual research. We were required to submit our proposals to the ethics committee. We were required to do all of the paper work, all of the leg work, and more importantly we were required to have actual test subjects for our research. The test subjects were the students, usually freshman, in the General Psychology classes.
There is no way that we would have been allowed to skimp on our work as seen in this BYU thing, using ourselves and the feedback from some website. There is no way to control the data, no way to be sure of its veracity. Had we suggested doing something like this we would have received “the stare” followed by, “No.”.
Side note: We (the entire upper class, not solely our team) were unable to carry out our research due to a lack of time during that semester. Consequently, we completed all of the steps possible leading up to performing the actual research. C’est la vie.
In so far as ZR’s effectiveness, it has a pal of mine running. He’s someone who I’ve been trying to nudge toward exercise for quite some time. He’s now eager to run to continue the story missions and has even repeated the training from previous weeks to better prepare for the next week of training missions. That is some commendable dedication. It also had me running on a regular basis. He and I both had to stop due to the considerable heat and humidity (100o F / 38o C or higher + high humidity).
ZR just works. Maybe not for everybody, but nothing works for “everybody”. If you haven’t tried it, get it. Get the Zombies, Run! 5K Trainer, and keep in mind that the 5K app is a drop in the bucket compared to the full app.
Edit: If anyone is curious, the Gen. Psych students are required to either take part in the research or to complete alternative homework assignments. There are semesters when the Gen. Psych students haven’t progressed far enough in their classes to take part. There are semesters when one upper class does not complete their work soon enough (we all have to do it at the same time). Thus, things don’t always workout such that the research can be completed.
Shoot, you’re totally right. Forgot to insert the link. The article is at the top of BYU’s homepage. I was kind of curious where they were coming from and actually hunted down their research paper on it, which goes into detail. If you read it and change your mind, let me know because I’m really curious. (And it’s really interesting to hear about all this ACE stuff. Go you!)
I mean, their own description of their method is:
An analysis of health and fitness apps related to physical activity and diet was conducted among apps in the Apple App Store in the winter of 2014. This analysis reviewed a sample of 132 apps for the 10 effective game elements, the 6 core components of health gamification, and 13 core health behavior constructs. A regression analysis was conducted in order to measure the correlation between health behavior constructs, gamification components, and effective game elements.
Most of their focus was on the elements of the app itself and really had very little user input beyond the app reviews in the store. I just feel like there’s a much better way that this could have been done. There’s a lot of confounding variables here.
I think you said it best - it’s supposed to assist you in developing the intrinsic motivation. That is the goal, not the starting point.
On a side note, I really like how everyone is jumping in on this post with their personal stories. Like a huge “WE are the proof”. You go guys. Y’all are so inspirational.