Do you want to be more active :)? 1 week experiment

At the HCI Centre at the School of Computer Science in Birmingham, we're investigating how to support people to be more physically active using technology

We know it's hard to change your behaviour, so we have devised some straightforward tools that help you form manageable goals that work for you.
We'd be delighted if you'd help us test them.

This is an experiment for Android users with English as a native language

The experiment:

  • Supports you to form an active :) goal
  • May provide active :) goal reminders
  • Runs for 1 week
  • Requires minimal interaction
  • £5 Amazon voucher for completion

1 week Android active :) project (all online and on your phone)

You'll need to run an app on your phone over 1 week, but total participation time is only around 30 mins.

What will I have to do?

  1. Answer a brief online survey and form a goal to help you become more physically active
  2. Install an app on your phone and do a quick word colour-naming test
  3. After 1 week, do another colour-naming test and answer a few more questions online.

The research app we ask you to install simply tracks your interactions with the phone (how often you unlock/lock your phone). It DOES NOT track any other personal information such as your location, calls or messages). The app may also prompt you to be more active.

If you complete all the tasks, you will receive a £5 Amazon voucher as a thank you for taking part, alongside our heartfelt appreciation for contributing to our research :).

Who can take part?

We are looking for individuals who:

  • Agree to form and try to keep an active :) goal - we'll give you some simple instructions on how to form good goals :)
  • Are 18 years or older
  • Are native English speakers
  • Have normal vision (corrected with glasses or contact lenses is fine) and are not colour blind
  • Own an Android mobile device running Android version 4.1 (JellyBean) or greater without a custom lock screen using the default PIN or pattern lock
  • Carry the device around at most times on a daily basis
  • Have no health issues that might prevent you from being more physically active
  • Have not and are not currently running the 8-week active :) experiment

Sounds good! How do I join the experiment?


Please note that you will be free to withdraw from our research at any point, and you can additionally request that any data gathered up to that point is destroyed.

If you have any questions, please do get in touch. Don't worry about your current levels of activity - as long as you don't have any health issues which mean you shouldn't be more active then you are welcome to participate. We hope to hear from you soon :).

How to set your phone up to run non-Play store apps

Broadly, you will need to do 2 things to run the experiment app:

  1. Alter your phone settings to allow non-Google play applications to be run on your phone.
    • Go to Settings > Security
    • Locate and tick "Unknown sources".
    • Obviously, you shouldn't install apps from sources that you don't trust.
  2. Install the app to your phone
    • When you've completed the first survey you'll get a download link for the app. You can either download it directly to your phone, or download the .apk file to your computer, then transfer it to your phone.
    • Open the .apk file and follow the instructions to install.