These days, people are not as bored and they are way busier. With all their friends, responsibilities, and interests just a touch of their handheld device away, it would only make sense that people’s workouts and diet plans are only a touch away as well. With Mintel studies showing that 57% of Brits say they go through healthy phases but then fall into bad habits and that 38% of U.S. consumers say they try to eat healthy but the temptation of unhealthy foods is just too overwhelming to avoid, marketers noticed they had a new world market on their hands: Motivation. Getting creative, marketers said to themselves “What if we could make the healthy lifestyle more immediately gratifying?” See, usually
the problem with a healthy lifestyle is that it takes weeks to see the results one is looking for whereas the satisfaction of that chocolate milkshake is rewarding the second it hits their taste buds. Another significant problem is the fact that diet plans are too hard to keep up with off memory alone and many will opt-out to the easier option during their busy schedule instead of calorie-counting and being aware of what they put in their bodies. That is why 48% of Chinese singles said that they would like to have a mobile app from the diet or weight loss program they are using. Being able to keep up with an interactive diet app on one’s phone is far easier than unfolding a piece of paper that says what you can and cannot eat every time they get to a cash register or dining room during their day. Coupling that stat with the fact that 46 million US consumers used a health or diet app on their smartphones over the last year, and it is easy to see that there is a demand for these motivating mobile apps.
What are these apps?!
FOODTWEEKS is a new app that gives users small tips and advice on how to cut calories throughout their day. Every time a user gets to the mark of cutting 600, the company donates a meal to a local food bank.
Sense is another app that monitors the sleep of its users as well as taking in data from the environment that the user is sleeping in. This helps people track their sleeping patterns and allow them to attempt to improve the quality of their sleep by showing them what parts of their sleeping environment might be causing a quality reduction.
An app for diabetes has even been created in Mexico that allows its users to track their blood sugar levels and alerts them on when to supply insulin. Allowing patients to be more on top of their disease gives people a greater amount of freedom and stress reduction throughout the rest of their day because they can be assured they already took care of everything.
But it is not all mobile apps…
Countries all over the world have begun using programs to incentivize their citizens to get fit. In Russia, they offer free train tickets to those willing to stand on a sensor and do 30 squats which allows people to not only save money on travel, but also to improve burn off the morning latte’s calories while doing so! Russia hits it home again with Alfa-Bank creating a program that links one’s bank account to their Fitbit and daily physical activity earns each user a 6% interest rate on their bank account rather than the one set by the market. Companies are stepping up to the plate and developing new technology too. Vessyl here in the USA has created a cup that tracks the calories and caffeine counts of all the beverages it stores throughout the day to give people insight into how much their drinks are affecting their diet. My personal favorite, though, are the water bottles developed by Vittel. After an hour, a little red flag pops up out of the cap to remind its drinker to hydrate. With all the busy schedules in the world, remembering to sit down and enjoy a glass of water is the hardest thing some days, but it is always essential to a person’s functioning on any given day.
With only 10% of dieting Brits saying that they used a mobile app in the last year, it is abundantly clear that there is still room to grow in this market and it is exciting to see what new technologies will be thought of as we move to the future. Ensuring the health of the world is an important value that often gets forgotten in technology development and the fact that many companies and countries across the world are creating innovative ways to improve health is a motivating scene in and of itself.