Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies - ICT - SmartLife


SMARTLIFESmartLife: Smart CLothing & Gamification to promote Energy-related Behaviours among Adolescents is a two-year project, including four partners from Portugal, Spain, Germany and Belgium and a collaboration of universities, research institutes and Small and Medium Enterprises (SME). The project focuses on promoting more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour among European adolescents. The project started in January 2017 and will run until December 2018. Knowledgebiz Consulting from Portugal will coordinate the project.




Dit is een foto van het SmartLife projectThe project aims to develop an individually tailored, evidence-based and engaging gamification tool to promote moderate-to-vigorous physical activity, fitness and reduce sedentary behaviour among European adolescents, by using feedback from smart textiles. With regard to the prevention of non-communicable diseases and unhealthy lifestyle conditions, various health interventions are implemented among adolescents, which to date however have had limited success.
In the light of innovative and modern health promotion interventions, exergames show several advantages as higher preference and enjoyment, higher compliance and longer sustained activity behaviour. Yet, effectiveness studies of exergames currently show inconclusive results and so far exergames do not reach their optimal potential. Smart textile adaptations show to be one promising solution to personalise the physical activity level of the individual player and differentiate between moderate and vigorous physical activity levels. Dynamic tailoring in serious exergames is still rare, yet, shows a promising strategy to promote physical activity among adolescents. Therefore, a mobile serious game will be developed that requires lower body movement and is personalised by physiological feedback that is measured by a smart textile. In order to ensure high engagement and promote social inclusion, Flemish adolescents will be included in an user-cantered design approach. Also risk groups, as girls and adolescents of families with a lower socio-economic status are actively included.



SmartLife aims to design a mobile exergame that:

  • promotes more physical activity and less sedentary behaviour and hence improve adolescent health and social inclusion;
  • does not imply screen time, and requires lower body movement to encourage moderate-to-vigorous physical activity and reduce sedentary behaviour;
  • is tailored by the physiological feedback provided by smart textiles;
  • is based on best available evidence and iterative input from target users, especially those from lower socio-economic status and adolescent girls;
  • is based on creative game developer’s input, best available evidence and iterative input from target users on immersive game features such as a narrative and contextual information.


Role of Ghent University

The role of Ghent University is to explore the SmartLife intervention content, individual tailoring and participatory design framework. In the participatory development, together with Flemish adolescents the game content will be designed, based on foregoing scientific research on determinants of physical activity and sedentary behaviour, behaviour change methods to promote physical activity and lower the levels of sedentary behaviour and specific in-game methods. Further, Ghent University will develop content for tailored feedback, meaning that individual’s needs fit to in-game exercises. By means of the intervention's choices, Ghent University will further validate whether the serious exergame SmartLife is effective in changing adolescents' physical activity, sedentary behaviour, physiological measurements and health outcomes. The overall role of Ghent University is not only to transfer innovative modules to project partners, but also to research and health promotion networks.


Prof. Greet Cardon
Department of Movement and Sport Sciences
Phone number: 09 264 94 42