Designing Mobile Health Applications to Support Walking for Older Adults

Yasmin Felberbaum, Joel Lanir, Patrice L. Weiss

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Physical activity is extremely important at an older age and has major benefits. There is a range of applications that help maintain physical activity. However, their adoption among older adults is still limited. The purpose of the study is to explore the key aspects of the design of mobile applications that support walking for older adults. We conducted a field study with older adults, aged 69–79 years, using a technology probe (a mobile application developed as an early prototype) with the purpose of eliciting requirements for mobile health applications. We interviewed the participants during and after the study period, asking them about their motivation for walking, usage of the application, and overall preferences when using such technologies. The findings suggest that mobile applications that support walking should address a range of walking variables, support a long-term learning process, and enable the user to take control and responsibility for the walk. In addition, we provide design guidelines concerning the motivation for walking and the data visualization that would make technology adoption easier. The findings from this study can be used to inform the design of more usable products for older users.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3611
JournalInternational Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health
Issue number4
StatePublished - 17 Feb 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 by the authors.


  • field study
  • mobile health applications
  • older adults
  • physical activity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Pollution
  • Health, Toxicology and Mutagenesis


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