Making the right decisions

Making the right decisions

January 15, 2015

Finding the right fitness app is crucial

Finding the right fitness app is crucial - Image Credit: Thinkstock/iStock

There are many fitness applications on the market, but which is the right one for you? Well, it depends on your lifestyle, as well as the goals or targets you are trying to achieve, but a new study may offer insight for fitness enthusiasts.

Published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the study evaluated the 100 top-ranked physical activity apps and looked at which behaviour change techniques (BCTs) were being used. They found that, although changing behaviour is key to adopting a long-term, healthy lifestyle, few physical activity apps are currently implementing this.

With around half of mobile users having a fitness app, it is a big industry, especially at this time of year when many people are trying to maintain the promises they made to themselves at New Year.

During the study, trained inspectors using a classification scheme of 93 specific BCTs to see how many each app had. They found that just 39 of 93 possible BCTs were found, with just over six occurring in each fitness application, on average.

Most commonly, this involved providing social support through online communities like Facebook and Twitter, information about others’ approval, instructions on how to perform a behaviour, demonstrations of the behaviour, and feedback on the behaviour.

Lead investigator David E. Conroy, professor in the Department of Preventive Medicine, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, said the findings “reinforce the conclusion that all apps are not created equal, and prospective users should consider their individual needs when selecting an app to increase physical activity”.

At dacadoo, we believe we have the perfect app and health platform combination, which allows all of our users to tailor their health and fitness goals to their lifestyle. Using your Health Score as a tangible figure, which you can increase or reduce depending on your activity, is an engaging and informative way to make long-term lifestyle changes.

The Health Score is based upon changing your behaviour towards food, exercise, stress and sleep, which creates a healthier lifestyle and reduces your risk of suffering a whole host of illnesses and diseases.

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