Press release of University Duisburg-Essen

Step counter app aims to encourage physical activity Being active in everyday life

[12.03.2015] People who are physically active can prevent illnesses. Even in everyday life a lot can be done, for example by walking more. Smartphone apps, smart watches or wristbands, which measure how active and fit one is, can serve as an incentive. Even those averse to movement could be spurred in this way. The research group PAnalytics of the University of Duisburg-Essen (UDE) investigates how people can be motivated most effectively by step counter apps. For this purpose they developed an own application: MoveMyDay. The Android app is available for free in the Google-Play-Store (German version only).

The scientists hope that many people use MoveMyDay. “You don’t only do good for yourself, but also support the research”, explains Katja Herrmanny, who developed the app. “We analyse the counted steps to find out which effect certain motivating elements have - for example if one has set a concrete goal for the week or if there is a graphical visualization - to see in which ways it can be achieved.

Privacy and data protection are granted in any case, ensures the computer scientist. “We collect the data anonymously and only gather the information that we really need. We are interested in how much somebody moves, but not where. Thus we do not collect location data.”

MoveMyDay is the first application of the young, interdisciplinary team in the PAnalytics project. Over the next five years technical systems that support healthy ageing will be developed under the direction of Dr. Aysegül Dogangün, subsidised by the Federal Ministry of Research and Education. These systems will not only be investigated technologically, but also from the perspective of health science and motivational psychology.

For further information see:;
Katja Herrmanny, Tel. +49203 379-1730,

Editorial: Ulrike Bohnsack

Translation: Katharina Kloppenborg