Australians are facing serious health risks from inactivity. A recent survey commissioned by Baker IDI supports the widely held verdict of the health community: physical inactivity is the fourth highest killer worldwide.
In an effort promote more activity throughout the day, The Baker IDI Heart and Disease Institute have collaborated with the Vodafone Foundation in a new app designed to get people moving.
The new app, called Rise & Recharge, is a crucial part of Baker IDI’s national campaign that aims to raise awareness of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle.
Designed by Josh Guest, the managing director of Melbourne-based company b2cloud, the app is based on the idea that if an individual could see their health data, it would motivate a change in behavior.
“The purpose of apps like Rise & Recharge is to provide users with regular information about their health and behaviours,” Guest said last week, as the technology was launched.
“Like a visit to the doctor would, but on a more regular basis,” he said.
The Rise & Recharge recommends a spell of activity every 30 minutes. Alerts are sent to the user as reminders to ‘get moving’ at selected intervals.
Data collected from the user’s smartphone or wearable device interprets their movements and sends a summary to the user.
The Rise & Recharge app appears at a moment when the health app space is experiencing massive growth.
The US Food and Drug Administration said that by the end of last year there were an estimated 500 million smartphone users globally with this kind of technology. They predict that by 2018 over half the 3.4 billion smartphone and tablet users will have a health app.
Still, there is evidence emerging that health app prompts are a workable strategy in fighting the dangers of excessive sedentary behavior.
An analysis published by the American Cancer Society based on a small sample study indicated that the technology gave users a compelling enough reason to get out of their seats and get active.