Development of the app was led by Dr Cindy Gray, of the University of Glasgow’s Institute of Health and Wellbeing, and Dr Marilyn McGee-Lennon, of the University of Strathclyde’s Department of Computer and Information Science, along with support from Commonwealth Games competitors. MyCity: Glasgow allows users to compete with others around the world to increase their physical activity and test their knowledge of Glasgow before, during and after the Games.
Dr Gray said: “We’ve worked hard to make MyCity: Glasgow a fun way for people to engage with the spirit of the Commonwealth Games by being more active, as well as finding out more about the host city. The app is focused on walking because it’s a low-impact form of activity that most people can participate in.
“MyCity: Glasgow allows people in Glasgow to gain a new perspective on the city by challenging them to visit landmarks, including the Games venues, for themselves. However, it’s also designed so that people can use it to learn about the city from anywhere around the world. All people need to benefit from the app is a mobile device and a willingness to be more active.”
Dr McGee-Lennon added: “When users download the app, they’ll be asked to agree for it to share with us anonymised data about their activity levels. The data will be an invaluable resource for future research into how effective apps can be at promoting behaviour change, which will be of real use for similar public health projects in the future, and will also contribute to the legacy of Glasgow 2014 for the city.”
The app works by setting daily activity goals for each player based on their previous activity, increasing the targets steadily each time an achievement is reached.
Rewards are unlocked each time a goal is met with the appearance of one of 42 of Glasgow’s landmark buildings on a map of the city. Players can find out more about the city through fun quizzes, and use their phone’s GPS function to follow virtual treasure trails across the city.
Users can compare their performance to others’ using the MyCity activity and quizzes leaderboards. They can also share their progress, and selfies of them playing the game, straight from the app to Facebook.
The app is available to download for free from Google Play and shortly from the Apple App Store. To find it, simply search for ‘MyCity: Glasgow’ or visit the links below.