01 Feb Technology leading the way to better health
It is fair to say we have probably spent more time inside in the past year than ever before, and lockdowns are taking their toll on people’s physical and mental wellbeing. In a recent study by King’s College, 48 per cent of respondents said they had put on weight during lockdown, 29 per cent had drunk more alcohol and half felt more mentally anxious about life.
With gyms and leisure centres closed, people have turned to technology to keep fit and release those endorphins while stuck inside. In the first lockdown there seemed to be an army of new runners take to the streets, using apps like Couch to 5K to train and Instagram was flooded with people’s personal bests on the running app, Strava. In the first quarter of 2020, Strava had an average of two million registrations each month, while Peloton sales doubled in 2020 to an incredible $1.8 billion.
“Stepping up” my fitness
Technology has played a massive part in my fitness journey. In the first lockdown I sucked up the courage and joined an online fitness programme. For eight weeks I woke up early, strapped my Apple Watch onto my wrist and headed over to my home gym (aka the conservatory).
The first few days started off slow, but I soon found myself checking my watch to see how many calories I burnt and how many steps I had done each day, which I made sure to beat the next day. Being part of a virtual class and seeing other people workout in real time with me really helped to keep me motivated. Nothing like a bit of competition!
Rise of health tech
The pandemic has undoubtedly accelerated the growth of fitness and health tech. Unsurprisingly, at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in January, we saw a raft of new fitness and health tech devices being launched. From fitness apps to artificial intelligence cameras that monitor your form, track your progress and coach you, technology companies are seizing the opportunity to jump on this wave of fitness.
Time will tell if this boom in fitness and health tech will transcend beyond the pandemic; will home workouts continue or will people be desperate to get back to their Monday night spin classes or workouts at the gym?