Personal and Ubiquitous Computing

, Volume 21, Issue 4, pp 689–704 | Cite as

An e-coaching ecosystem: design and effectiveness analysis of the engagement of remote coaching on athletes

  • Ludovico Boratto
  • Salvatore Carta
  • Fabrizio Mulas
  • Paolo Pilloni


Nowadays, the use of mobile applications and wearable technologies to support and encourage an active lifestyle has become widespread. Several studies put in evidence that the usage of these kinds of support has to be monitored by high-qualified figures, to favor a safe and a long-term adherence to training routines. In order to investigate the impact of these professionals, this work sets out to provide an overview and an evaluation of an e-coaching ecosystem specifically designed for runners. The platform supports and guides people towards an active lifestyle by stimulating their motivation to exercise through the engagement provided by the interactions between users and human trainers. In this study, we investigate the effectiveness of the support offered by the human trainers and the engagement of the users. The results show that the support of human qualified trainers is crucial. Users tend to be more engaged to train when their trainings are developed and remotely supervised by a human coach. This has resulted in more workout sessions performed with respect to users exercising by following standard or self-made routines without direct professional supervision. Our findings show that e-coaching systems should develop their coaching protocols always taking into account the effectiveness of the support of qualified professionals over completely automated approaches.


e-coaching Persuasive technology Physical activity Running Healthy lifestyle Human coach Motivation 



The authors would like to thank Alessio Demurtas, Marika Cappai, Luca Mancosu, Giordano Sini, and Stefano Amico for their contribution in this research work and the reviewers for their invaluable suggestions.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag London 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Ludovico Boratto
    • 1
    • 2
  • Salvatore Carta
    • 1
  • Fabrizio Mulas
    • 1
  • Paolo Pilloni
    • 1
  1. 1.Dipartimento di Matematica e InformaticaUniversità di CagliariCagliariItaly
  2. 2.Digital Humanities - EurecatBarcelonaSpain

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