When fitness meets social networks: Investigating fitness tracking and social practices on WeRun

Xinning Gui, Yu Chen, Clara Caldeira, Dan Xiao, Yunan Chen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

20 Scopus citations


The last two decades have seen growing interest in promoting physical activities by using self-tracking technologies. Previous work has identified social interactions in self-tracking as a crucial factor in motivating users to exercise. However, it is unclear how integrating fitness features into complex pre-existing social network affects users' fitness tracking practices and social interactions. In this research, we address this gap through a qualitative study of 32 users of WeRun - a fitness plugin of the widely adopted Chinese mobile social networking service WeChat. Our findings indicate that sharing fitness data with pre-existing social networks motivates users to continue self-tracking and enhances their existing social relationships. Nevertheless, users' concerns about their online personal images lead to challenges around privacy. We discuss how our study could advance understanding of the effects of fitness applications built on top of pre-existing social networks. We present implications for future social fitness applications design.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationCHI 2017 - Proceedings of the 2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems
Subtitle of host publicationExplore, Innovate, Inspire
PublisherAssociation for Computing Machinery
Number of pages13
ISBN (Electronic)9781450346559
StatePublished - May 2 2017
Event2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017 - Denver, United States
Duration: May 6 2017May 11 2017

Publication series

NameConference on Human Factors in Computing Systems - Proceedings


Other2017 ACM SIGCHI Conference on Human Factors in Computing Systems, CHI 2017
CountryUnited States

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Software
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Computer Graphics and Computer-Aided Design

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