Monique Simons

Monique Simons

Wageningen University & Research / Social Sciences/ Consumption and Healthy Lifestyles

monique.simons@wur.nl

Focus of the project

My research is focused around how to harness the potential of innovative technologies to support people in adopting (lasting) healthy lifestyle behaviors (e.g. physical activity and healthy diet). Focal point of my research is the interplay between Environment, Healthy Lifestyle Behaviors and Interactive Technologies. I mainly focus on intervention design, and effect/process evaluation of healthy lifestyle interventions. I employ methodologies such as co-design, machine learning, and novel approaches such as just-in-time adaptive interventions. Characteristic of my research is the interdisciplinary approach (combining insights from e.g. health psychology, geography, data science and game design) and close collaboration with stakeholders outside academia (e.g. policy and industry).

Key research question

How can games (serious games, gamification) be used to promote (lasting) health behavior change? 

How can we effectively utilize Data Science techniques (e.g. machine learning, self-learning algorithms) for personalized and adaptive health behavior change interventions (e.g. Just-in-Time Adaptive Interventions). 

How do physical contexts (e.g. built environment) influence healthy lifestyle behaviors and how can these processes be acknowledged in interventions? 

How can technology (e.g. beacons) facilitate the embedding of contextual factors in interventions? 

What is the feasibility and effectiveness of location-based health communication and context-aware interventions for promoting health behavior change? 

How to design effective (technology-enabled) interventions for vulnerable people (e.g. low SES) and people with low motivation for health behavior change? 

Collaboration partners

Main academic partners within P&P
Boudewijn Boon (TUD, P&P)
Ellen van Loo (WUR, P&P)

Main academic partners outside P&P but topic-related 
Pieter van Gorp (GOAL; gamebus.eu) – TUE
Co-promotor Karlijn Sporrel (UU). Playful data-driven Active urban Living (PAUL): towards a flexible exercise app for inactive citizens based on theories in data mining, machine learning, exercise psychology, behavioral change and gamification (HvA-UvA-UU-WUR).
Co-promotor Raoul Nuijten (TU/e). Gamification of Overweight prevention and Active Lifestyle (GOAL). (TU/e-UMCU-WUR)

Outside academia (selection)
Municipality Utrecht
Municipality Amsterdam
Municipality Eindhoven
Multiple Serious game design companies
ICT companies