Physical inactivity has been rolling on the inclined plane, heading swiftly toward a rise. Adults and teenagers alike are becoming victims of it. It seems like the laptop screens have a lot to contribute in this field along with the increasing habit of binge-watching your favorite TV shows. But that’s just one end of the spectrum where people, somewhat, deliberately add to their physical inactivity.
There is another side of the picture too and it is the work case scenario where individuals really can’t do much to counter the physical activity. But that does not at all mean that one should give in to the guilt of consistent sitting and do nothing at all.
To this end, a fitness app has taken it on itself to boost the physical activity of the working folks. The app aims at promoting exercise at work to combat the long sitting spells. Fitness apps are already on the rise and have been garnering much buzz regarding their effectiveness.
But to confirm the effectiveness of such a fitness app that is trimmed to the target audience of office workers, a pilot study was conducted. The study was arranged by an automotive manufacturer in Germany. The app has an added online game portion to amp up the number of steps taken on a daily note.
The controlled study extended over a time frame of six weeks and it is just recently published in the BMC Public Health. The limelight of the study was taken over by the Healingo Fit app that is short of Health Integrated Gaming Online. Members of the control group were not given access to the app. However, the randomly chosen participants of the intervention group were provided with the app.
The online gaming fitness app turned users into virtual travelers with the goal to reach 16 countries. As a means to this end, the user had to cover some step targets. The app branched into four strategies to engage and encourage physical activities of the participant. These include individual step targets, three goals selection from a list, the creation of challenges peppered with awards and leaderboards, and daily quizzing on healthy living.
The results of the study revealed some interesting insights. It showed vital differences between the activity levels of the control and intervention groups. The result showed a 30% increase in the time spent on walking that exhibited a change in the behavior toward physical activity. Moreover, there was also an increase recorded in the knowledge of physical activity, exercise intention, and self-efficacy.
Although these are some really bright results concerning the efficiency of a fitness app in a workplace for the promotion of greater movement yet there are some substantial limitations to the study too. These include the self-reporting nature of the data collection. Participants were asked to report their improvement so there is a possibility of mentioning inaccurate results or slightly exaggerated achievements.
Although there are certain doubts in the form of limitations of this study, the work has shed light on the positive role of the fitness app in improving individual activity. The fitness app helps to keep people motivated and encourage them to move about by setting goals and presenting challenges. Simultaneously, the app also enlightens the users with the need for healthy eating and need for adequate exercise.
This study has also paved the way for a good role of apps such as Healingo Fit in the workplace to increase daily physical activity in working adults. Moreover, there is a need for increased research that includes target audiences from other countries and uses some way of objective measurement of results.