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Does exercise really suck? You tell us

Posted 4 Mar

Claudia von der Borch
Screen Shot 2019-05-23 at 7.50.30 pm

We’ll be honest. Exercise is hard work for most of us. It requires commitment. And energy. And choosing to do something that’s good for us. Not many of us are good at doing any of those things. But maybe it would be an easier choice if we made exercise fun.

This is what we tried to do in Training Ground. Along with creative technologists Grumpy Sailor, we built a 5m structure that attempted to get you moving before you realised it was what you were doing.

Some small infographics exploring visitor use of the exhibit.

So did it work?

In terms of enjoyment, Training Ground was rated our second most highly rated exhibit of all evaluated so far. What you said about why: ‘competitive’, ‘entertaining’, ‘engaging’. Clearly you found our Cascade Tower game fun. Tick ✅

98% of surveyed visitors engaged with the Cascade Tower. These visitors spent on average 4 minutes in the gallery, which is more than enough time to complete the game we set.

We asked our surveyed visitors to share some of the insights they had from this exhibit:

‘Changing the perception of pleasure can change your perception of exercise.’

‘That not only pleasure but reward and levelling up are motivators.’

‘That it is easier, and more enjoyable, if exercise is done as part of a game.’

A bar graph exploring visitor beliefs about science post-visit.

What our researchers had to say

The most important thing for UniSA researchers Alyson Crozier, Gaynor Parfitt, and Timothy Olds was that visitors would let their pleasure guide them (exercise to the point of feeling good), exercise with friends (it’s easier to do it in a small group), and make a game out of it (you distract yourself from the fact you’re exercising). Training Ground accomplished what they set out to achieve.

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