Get People Moving: SMS for Healthy Living

Unless just emerging from a long coma or an extended stint in solitary, there will be some awareness that a third of humanity is currently under ‘lockdown’ because of the […]

Unless just emerging from a long coma or an extended stint in solitary, there will be some awareness that a third of humanity is currently under ‘lockdown’ because of the health crisis. Some countries are not even allowing exercise as a reason to leave the house. Factor in the prevailing unprecedented general level of worry and the temptation to comfort eat can be hard to resist and very real.

It’s safe to say that most of us would be first to turn to chocolate rather than apples and now is proving no different. Take a look at supermarkets and so many of the snack food shelves in their aisles ran almost bare. Many of the comfort foods we know and love have been in short supply, due simply to unprecedented demand.

Food retailers reported that they were busier than they have ever been in March with sales levels considerably higher than even the traditionally stellar Christmas sales period. The world appears literally to have turned to chocolate, candy and fried potatoes in one form or other to get us through this. All this risks our undoing as healthy eating plans and exercise programs either fall by the wayside or simply get thrown out the window entirely.

Various reports have all pointed to the fact that by doing less or even none of the physical activity we would normally do, a typical adult is likely to burn off up to 400 fewer calories a day. Logically we should all be reducing our portions and moving as much as we can — as long as it is not to the fridge or cookie jar and back! There is something else compounding this though as well.

Many people panic-bought a cupboard and fridge full of fresh food and now find themselves duty-bound to eat their way through it. Not everybody has unlimited freezer space. Or the will power to hold back from overindulging.

Anything that can help keep us on the straight and narrow or put us gently back on track would be particualry well received right now and so many businesses guiding our diet have made strong moves into the online domain. Many had been implementing their online presence but plans have been accelerated at an unbelievable rate. It is after all big business.

A report came out from MarketWatch on April 1st showing that the global weight loss and obesity management market is worth more than $200 billion today, expected to exceed more than US $250 billion by 2024. Big names in the industry include Weight Watchers International and Slimming World.

Where nutrition is concerned, there is a mountain of (often conflicting) information out there and a host of providers clamoring for consumer attention. There is beauty in simplicity though and this often secures the best results.

The majority of us are likely to pay attention and respond better to short, easy to digest nuggets of guidance and sound information delivered using a truly ubiquitous attention grabbing channel. Use cases for SMS are many and could include:

  • Delivering daily nutrition tips
  • Sending wholesome recipes using ingredients which are easy to secure
  • Providing exercise tips and links to workouts of all types that can be carried out at home with little or no equipment
  • Confirmations and follow-up reminders of live online sessions with support group leaders or nutritionists
  • Targeted special offers from partner brands

The current restrictive situation has to come to an end sometime though and we will all deserve a treat in one shape or form. When this time comes, we find these wise words from Oscar Wilde will be very fitting: “Everything in moderation, including moderation.”