Posts Tagged 'health'

Confession is Good for the Soul

Training Plan
Not doing very well am I? 6.03km down, 67.97km to go. As my Nike+ training plan cheerily reminds me, with the end date of my training plan on the 31st January, that puts me currently 63km behind. And it all started so well.

I’ve really enjoyed the Nike+iPod experience though. Running with music is great (still trying to decide what my “power tune” should be), the kilometre countdowns in your ear are genuinely encouraging, the half way point (again spoken through your earphones) is handy – if like me you run in a straight line and then back again – and I did find myself that little bit more encouraged when I’d broken a personal best (admittedly easy when you’re just starting out). The only thing that’s really annoying is when you go for a run after midnight, then upload your data to the Nike+ website but it doesn’t count towards your training plan because it falls on the next day…

But I can’t use that excuse for a deficit of 63km. The reason for that is that I’ve been recovering from a bit of flu with a particularly long tail. But now I’m suddenly, wonderfully, better.

So I can either run 17km tonight, Thursday, Friday and Saturday.

Or I can give myself another month.

By the way, if you use Nike+, do join the team of which I am labelled “coach”, but am actually floundering second from bottom of the leaderboard.

Example #3 – Tooth Tunes

Here’s a slightly ridiculous example of design that changes behaviour for anyone looking for stocking-fillers.

The Tooth Tunes toothbrush made by Hasbro plays one of eleven tunes (from “If You’re Happy & You Know it Brush Your Teeth” to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”) for a strict two minutes. As you brush, your teeth pick up the vibrations via the bristles, making the music seem like it’s inside your head. Brushing firmly makes the music louder. As the manufacturer says:

“Your kids will love brushing their teeth to hit songs from some of their favourite artists. As sound vibrations stream from the bristles through their teeth, they hear the music in their heads. But, when they take the bristles off their teeth, the music stops playing in their head. So they’ll actually want to keep brushing for a full two minutes!” [1]

Approved by the British Dental Health Foundation, Tooth Tunes aims to encourage people to brush their teeth for two minutes rather than the more common 45 seconds [2].

To bring it down to the mechanistic level of persusive technology, Tooth Tunes uses operant conditioning to encourage kids to brush their teeth correctly; the reward of the music is only given when they’re brushing correctly.

Would you buy this for your kids?

[1, 2] http://www.hasbro.com/toothtunes/en_GB/default.cfm?page=parents


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