Design for healthy behaviour

Geke Ludden*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterAcademicpeer-review

    3 Citations (Scopus)


    Over the last decades, people in societies all over the world have moved from barely being able to survive to living in a state of abundance. While this development is of course very positive, it has also led to unhealthy lifestyles. Statistics on unhealthy eating habits in the UK and the USA (England, 2014; Stark Casagrande et al., 2007) tell us that only a small proportion of peoples diet meet the general dietary recommendations (consuming less saturated fat, added sugars and salt and eating enough fruit and vegetables). In addition, recent statistics on the degree to which peoples diet are active in these countries, as well as in others are low. In England, 66% of men and 56% of women claim to meet the recommendations of being active for at least 30 minutes five times a week (Centre, 2013). Similar results (including higher levels of self-reported activity and lower levels of measured activity) have been found for activity of USA residents (Tucker et al., 2011). Eventually, these unhealthy lifestyles will negatively affect the wellbeing of many people and lead to ever-increasing costs and demands in healthcare. Specifically, there is a dramatic increase in so-called lifestyle diseases such as obesity and diabetes (Lee et al., 2012). Although low levels of inactivity and unhealthy eating habits are not the only factors contributing to this trend, they do play a major role. Lifestyle changes could counter this trend and, consequently, multiple efforts have been made to raise people’s awareness of the importance of living a healthier life. Traditionally, health interventions have taken the form of mass media campaigns aimed at raising awareness of health issues and of the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle. More recently, more innovative means of designing for healthy behaviour have been sought that include monitoring and coaching systems and the design of environments that encourage an active lifestyle. In this chapter, I will give an overview of the different means to design for healthy behaviour and I will introduce a design framework that is based on a dominant theory in the psychology of health behaviour change, the transtheoretical model of behaviour change developed by Prochaska and colleagues (TTM, Prochaska & Velicer, 1997). This design framework challenges designers to look at health behaviour change as a process and offers strategies to design products that guide people through a process of behaviour change until they have durably changed their behaviour.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationDesign for Behaviour Change: Theories and Practices of Designing for Change
    EditorsKristina Niedderer, Stephen Clune, Geke Ludden
    PublisherRoutledge, Taylor and Francis
    Number of pages11
    ISBN (Electronic)9781317152538
    ISBN (Print)9781315576602
    Publication statusPublished - 23 Aug 2017


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