Breathing Training on the Run: Exploring Users Perception on a Gamified Breathing Training Application During Treadmill Running

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The way we breathe fundamentally influences our psychophysiological system. Respiration is indeed not only a valid factor for relaxation and mindfulness but also for perceived workload and exertion during motion. Especially controlled slow breathing is found to be highly advantageous during physical activity, as it fosters positive effects on the psychophysiological well-being and can also be manipulated effectively to enhance the running experience. In order to persuade runners to follow certain breathing strategies (e.g. to couple breathing rate with stride rate) the runner needs to be aware of their breathing during running. The use of visual feedback to guide the user and pursue an aspired breathing pattern during running is a promising approach as it is an established method known to enhance breathing awareness and paced breathing in sedentary training settings. Since the potential of gamification for persuasive systems has been established in the PT community, enhancing breathing awareness through a gamified visualization seems to be a promising approach. This paper presents a Gamified Breathing Training Application (GBTA) along with an exploratory study (N=11) investigating the effects of the developed application with three sequential visual feedback scenarios (with and without biofeedback) during treadmill running. Our work focuses on the exploration of changes in conscious breath-control before and after using the GBTA, subjective perception of the breathing alignment process, and the perceived effectiveness of the application. Results show a significant improvement in conscious breath-control after using the GBTA. Further on qualitative user feedback strongly indicates a perceived effectiveness of the GBTA in drawing attention to the own breath during the run and thus facilitated breathing alignment. Overall, our findings suggest a high potential of using further iterations of the GBTA during the run to raise conscious breathing-control and actively engage users in the breathing change process, to facilitate the adaptation towards an aspired breathing pattern.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPersuasive Technology
EditorsNilufar Baghaei, Julita Vassileva, Raian Ali, Kiemute Oyibo
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer International Publishing AG
Number of pages17
ISBN (Print)978-3-030-98438-0
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Fields of Science and Technology Classification 2012

  • 211 Other Technical Sciences

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