Design for healthy behavior: design interventions and stages of change

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Designers have increasingly used the capacity of design to influence human behavior and consequently to address the challenges that our society faces. One of these challenges is the rise of ‘lifestyle diseases’, such as obesity and diabetes. A change towards a more healthy lifestyle could in many cases prevent or diminish such diseases, which would reduce demands and costs in care. Moreover, it could lead to a higher level of wellbeing for many people. In response to this challenge, designers and computer scientists have created interventions that help people adopt a healthier lifestyle. We argue that designers need to consider the different stages that people go through to durably change their behavior. In this paper, we discuss how design interventions aimed at adopting a healthier lifestyle correspond to different stages in the Transtheoretical Model of Health Behavior Change. Furthermore, we discuss how designers could design for stages of change.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Colors of Care
Subtitle of host publicationThe 9th International Conference on Design & Emotion, Bogota, Colombia, 6-10 October 2014
EditorsJuan Salamanca, Pieter Desmet, Andrés Burbano, Geke Ludden, Jorge Maya
Place of PublicationBogotá, Colombia
PublisherEdiciones Uniandes
ISBN (Print)978-958-774-070-7
Publication statusPublished - 6 Oct 2014
Event9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014: The Colors of Care - Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia
Duration: 6 Oct 201410 Oct 2014
Conference number: 9


Conference9th International Conference on Design and Emotion 2014
Internet address


  • IR-93612
  • METIS-307772


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