Sedentary lifestyles are having a devastating impact on our health. So much so, that the NHS is putting preventative measures at the heart of its 10-year plan.  The NHS has spotted the need to bring about behavioural change in an attempt to save both budget and half a million lives. With this, comes the opportunity for MedTech brands to find ways to nudge people in the right direction.

The opportunity is made easier thanks to a ‘healthy lifestyle’ being firmly imprinted on the collective consumer conscious. For evidence, you need only to point towards to the Wellness industry: worth over $4 trillion and growing at double the rate of global economic growth. No longer an aspiration of the physical elite, physical and mental wellness has gone mainstream as consumers volunteer their hard-earned money in return for exercise classes and nutritious snacks.

A quick check on January gym drop-out rates shows that efforts to increase activity have can be more successful if a ‘little and often’ approach is taken. Instead of brands engaging in an uphill battle for a complete lifestyle overhaul, minor changes in habit face less resistance from the consumer as well as being part of a new behaviour more likely to stick.

Some brands have already established a clear position in encouraging more physical activity. Wearables, such as the FitBit or the Apple Watch, allow us to keep track of our step count in the quest for 10,000, providing inspiration to opt for the stairs instead of the lift. Sweatcoin takes this one step further and rewards your steps with cryptocurrency, resulting in an additional 20% of physical activity for its users.

Although not strictly physical activity, those of us who are sat at their desk all day, Upright Go have a device that sits between your shoulder blades and corrects your posture, by vibrating when it detects the wearer slouching. How much future chronic back pain could be prevented by these reminders to sit up straight?

Technology is largely to blame for our sedentary lifestyles. What was once a journey across town for a meeting is now done virtually; a night stroll has replaced by a Netflix series. Efficiencies made through improvements in technology have come at the cost of human sweat.

Technology may have gotten us into this mess, but with the right technology and some clever marketing, it can help get us out of it.

How can your brand become a part of consumers’ life at an earlier stage of the journey and help with prevention as well as the cure?

Categories: Health

BY ENGINEER Nick Campbell

nick.campbell@thevalueengineers.com