Healthy heart, healthy body, healthy mind!

1 June 2021

The importance of heart health is undeniable. Acting as the pump of oxygen-rich blood around the body, if it stops functionally properly, your whole body begins shutting down. Recent research has shown that not only is keeping your heart healthy and strong essential for keeping the body healthy, it’s also associated with better cognitive abilities too!

The research, led by Queen Mary University of London and the Radcliffe Department of Medicine at University of Oxford, examined links between heart health and cognitive function in over 32,000 UK Biobank participants. It was found that people with a healthier heart structure and function, determined by MRI scans, appear to have increased capacity to solve logic problems and have faster reaction times.

Previous research has focused on vascular dementia and Alzheimer’s disease in people who have already developed heart disease. This study was carried out in a large group of healthy individuals and highlights the importance of keeping your heart healthy and strong, not only to prevent you developing conditions like heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, but also for improving your cognitive function.

Heart disease, dementia and Alzheimer’s disease are all vascular diseases and have shared risk factors, such as diabetes, high blood pressure, smoking and obesity. The researchers suggest that, although these factors are important in influencing brain and heart health, there is another mechanism which correlates heart health and cognitive ability that needs to be investigated further.

Whilst it will take time to understand this mechanism, establish strategies for early prevention and reduce the burden of heart and brain disease, there are steps we can all take right now to improve our heart health. Regular physical activity is vital to a strong, functional heart. This is because the heart is a muscle just like the other muscles in our body, becoming more conditioned, efficient and strong as it adapts to the increased demand as we use it more. This could be using it more often, for longer at one time, or increasing the intensity of the activities, as all of these factors will require more blood to be pumped to the muscles around the body, to provide them with the energy to create movement.

Importantly, physical activity is defined as any bodily movement produced by skeletal muscles that results in energy expenditure, which requires oxygen that is pumped to the skeletal muscles in the blood by the heart. As such, it is important that we account for all the movements in our lifestyles – not just exercise. In fact, at KiActiv® we empower individuals to find a personalised understanding of the value of movement in their daily routine, to unlock the unlimited benefits of increasing everyday physical activity to their heart, body and mind!

The KiActiv® Team

It’s World Hypertension Day!

17 May 2021

In 2017, Public Health England reported that around 12.5 million people in England are affected by hypertension, but for every 10 people who have received a diagnosis, a further 7 remain undiagnosed and untreated. Hypertension is often described as the “silent killer” because it rarely causes symptoms, meaning it can easily go unnoticed and explains why, in England alone, there are around 5.5 million people unaware they have it. That is why it is so important to raise awareness of risk factors, as well as the prevention and treatment methods. And when better to do so than on this year’s World Hypertension Day!

But firstly, what is hypertension?

Hypertension is defined as high blood pressure at rest. When you have your blood pressure measured, you will be given 2 numbers. The top number is your systolic blood pressure and the bottom is your diastolic blood pressure. Hypertension is a systolic pressure above 140 and a diastolic pressure above 90.

Hypertension is a major risk factor for cardiovascular disease (CVD), and significantly increases the risk of having a heart attack or a stroke. Clearly, it is something that it is important to know about, especially since it rarely presents with any symptoms, as previously mentioned.

So, what are the common risk factors?

Risk of hypertension increases with age due to natural processes that occur to our blood vessels as we get older. It is also more common in men than women, but it is not inevitable, there are things we can do to control our blood pressure.

Common modifiable risk factors that are affected by our lifestyle include:

  • Excessive sodium (salt) intake
  • Sedentary lifestyle
  • Obesity
  • Stress
  • Excessive alcohol consumption

For both salt and alcohol consumption, it is important to stick to the recommended daily amount to reduce the negative implications of these factors on your blood pressure. It’s also important to maintain a healthy body weight, as being overweight is strongly linked to hypertension and a number of related health conditions like diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

Where does physical activity come in?

Moving more reduces sedentary behaviour, helps manage a healthy body weight, and is also a great way to relieve stress, targeting the other major modifiable risk factors. In fact, regular physical activity is the easiest, cheapest and best way to reduce your risk of hypertension!

There is a strong consensus in the scientific literature that regular physical activity is essential to maintain a healthy heart and is a key component of lifestyle for the prevention and treatment of hypertension. Studies consistently demonstrate beneficial effects of movement on hypertension, finding reductions in systolic and diastolic blood pressure in individuals both with and without hypertension. Furthermore, Cornelissen and Fagard (2005) highlighted that the effects are greater in those with hypertension, eliciting reductions by as much as 7 mmHg systolic and 5 mmHg diastolic.

How does physical activity have such an impact on blood pressure?

Regular physical activity makes your heart stronger. A stronger heart can pump more blood with less effort. This means that if your heart can work less to pump, the force on your blood vessels decreases, lowering your blood pressure. This in turn prevents strain on the heart and damage to the blood vessels which are associated with CVD.

What type of physical activity should I do?

There is strong evidence that highlights the importance of moderate intensity activity, that is any activity that gets you moving enough to use 3 to 6 times as much energy per minute as you do when you are sitting quietly. This could include anything from mowing the lawn, climbing the stairs, going out for a bike ride or dancing around the kitchen cooking. It is also important to reduce the time you spend sedentary, so even getting up to get a drink or have a short-walk in between work tasks, watching tv or reading a book, can make a big difference.

Importantly though, over 30 years of research confirms that all types of movement can help control blood pressure – this means the possibilities really are endless! In fact, the most important factor to reducing or maintaining blood pressure in a healthy range, is moving on a regular basis. It takes one to three months for regular physical activity to have a significant impact on your blood pressure, and the benefits last as long as you continue with it.

This is why, at KiActiv®, we believe that finding activities that you love and that suit you and your lifestyle is crucial for sustainability. Our personalised approach helps you unlock unlimited chances for movement in your everyday routine, in a way that can be enjoyed and sustained, to not only benefit your blood pressure, but also your overall health and wellbeing.

So, whether you have hypertension, or your blood pressure is at a desirable level, everyday physical activity can help prevent it from rising as you age, maintain a healthy weight and reduce your risk of a number of other conditions like diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and certain cancers.  As we like to put it, we are here to help you live your best life for longer!

The KiActiv® Team

Physical Activity comes in all forms and intensities, not just vigorous exercise!

25 August 2020

Physical activity and exercise have two separate definitions. Physical Activity is ‘any bodily movement produced by the muscles that results in energy expenditure.’ Exercise, on the other hand, can be defined as a ‘specific type of physical activity that is planned, structured and done repeatedly to improve or maintain physical fitness’ (Casperson, Powell and Christenson, 1985). Quite clearly then exercise, a term which is so often associated with the gym, running shoes, and sweaty sports gear, falls under the umbrella of physical activity. It is not however, the be all and end all, and by no means is exercise the only way in which you can be physically active.

Despite this, a recent study has found that adults only tend to acknowledge improvements to their physical activity level if those increases are in the form of vigorous intensity activity. This means that little or no regard is shown for improvements in light or moderate intensities, both of which have been proven to be beneficial for health. This suggests that physical activity intensity is a key indicator when it comes to perceiving behaviour change, with preferences tending to lean towards improving your vigorous intensity activity. Whilst vigorous activity is an important aspect of your overall physical activity level, there are other ways you can make improvements, and the notion that activity must be vigorous to have any benefit is dangerous. Not only is this idea fundamentally wrong, it also cuts off physical activity for many people, stripping the numerous health benefits away from those who are uninterested, unable or simply put off by the thought of participating in vigorous intensity exercise.

To counteract this, recognising the multi-dimensional nature of physical activity is the first key step to enabling you to understand that physical activity of all intensities can be beneficial to your health. Multi-dimensional physical activity takes into account all of the movements you make in your normal daily life, placing equal value on each and every one of these activities. Whether it be cooking dinner, hanging the washing out, cleaning the car or making a cup of tea, each of these daily tasks has a considerable level of movement associated with carrying it out, movement which should not simply be ignored just because it might not necessarily be of a vigorous intensity.

At KiActiv® we know that physical activity is multi-dimensional. It is our goal to empower our users to gain a better understanding of their physical activity habits using wearable activity trackers to continuously monitor movements. We look to help and support our users to optimise their personalised physical activity with an online, mentor supported programme. Our user-centred approach places the emphasis on personal choice, drawing on the well-established self-determination theory of psychology to implement positive behaviour change which can be sustained in the long-term to aid with the self-management of various health conditions, and for the benefit of general health and wellbeing.

The KiActiv® Team

Are Fitness trackers bad for your mental health?

20 August 2020

The recent surge in health awareness has given rise to an era of wearable technology, headed by companies like FitBit, Apple and Jawbone. As wearable fitness trackers become increasingly popular, with a greater number of commercial options available, we ask the question – are they actually beneficial for your health?

Fitness trackers can enable patients to become more in tune with their general health, and can act as motivating devices for physical activity and exercise. Many fitness trackers use daily and weekly ‘goals’ in an attempt to encourage positive behaviour change, be that through steps, number of workouts or hours of sleep. However, these ‘goals’ are largely based on arbitrary and generalised values, with little consideration for the individual differences and vast fluctuation in needs that exist between wearers.

A recent study from the University of Copenhagen looked into the potentially negative effects of fitness trackers on an individual’s mental health. They concluded that activity data from wearable devices can result in increased levels of uncertainty, fear and anxiety, and similarly lead to obsessive and dependent behaviours.

The study found this to be particularly true for heart patients, as the majority of these devices are intended for individuals in good health, targeting sports and wellness as opposed to disease management. Many of the goals set by these devices are unrealistic for clinical populations and, as a result, patients are overcome by feelings of guilt and shame when they are unable to reach such targets. Similarly, outside of a clinical setting the ability to fully comprehend the numerical data provided by fitness trackers is limited, and many wearers incorrectly interpret their data, resulting in unnecessary concern. For example, they may link a faster heart rate on one day to an increased risk of heart attack, resulting in enhanced anxiety and worry as they fear their health is deteriorating.

That’s not to say that these negative effects cannot be extrapolated further to other users. Many ‘fit and healthy’ individuals cite a growing obsession with their step counts in particular, to the extent that it becomes dependent and compulsive. Accounts of people running up and down their stairs just before midnight to reach their daily goal raises concerns over the obsessive behaviours these technologies are encouraging. Whilst the increased level of physical activity may be seen as a positive for ones’ physical health, the strain that this dependence can place on your mental and emotional health is comparable to that of any other kind of addiction.

This latest research suggests that, despite clear potential for fitness trackers to enhance general engagement with individuals’ health profiles outside of a clinical setting, this potential is lost without the existence of collaborative care and support. Assistant professor Tariq Osman Andersen explained “patients need help interpreting data related to sleep, heart rate and exercise habits” for health apps to be effective. He proposes that creating “a digital platform in which clinicians and patients can jointly interpret data from” would overcome these associated negative feelings.

The value of such data comes from accurate analysis and interpretation, providing insight into your physical activity and how this translates into your day-to-day life. Fortunately, at KiActiv® we understand the importance of expressing your health data in an accessible format that enables you to get the most out of this information. Our digital platform displays your physical activity data within the context of your own condition, providing personalised and meaningful insight that commercial fitness trackers can’t. Your physical activity is multidimensional and it’s important to focus on movement you enjoy, not just a step count, to sustain an active lifestyle.

The KiActiv® Team

The power of gardening for our physical and mental wellbeing

1 July 2020

During this unprecedented time, many of us have been searching for ways to stay active, to improve our physical wellbeing, and also to ensure we look after our emotional wellbeing and mental health as best we can.

A recent study conducted by researchers at Princeton University looked to explore the benefits of gardening compared to other leisure and everyday activities. The study assessed emotional and mental wellbeing in 370 people, who self-reported their responses upon engaging in daily activities. Although self-report surveys do have their limitations, it enabled the researchers to adequately assess and compare the impact of different activities on people’s emotional and mental wellbeing.

The results from the study were extremely interesting and showed that gardening was among the top 5 activities reported by participants. It provided high levels of happiness that were comparable to activities such as walking, biking and even eating out. Gardening was also shown to improve happiness regardless of whether it was done individually, with relatives or in groups – making it an appealing activity for people in self-isolation.

31% of participants engaged in home gardening for about 1 hour and 30 minutes per week on average, compared to 19% who engaged in biking (an average of 30 minutes each week) and 85% who walked (an average of 1 hour and 40 minutes each week).

Corresponding author Anu Ramaswami stated – “Gardening could provide the health benefits of fresh fruits and vegetables, promote physical activity, and support emotional well-being, which can reinforce this healthy behaviour.“

“Many more people garden than we think, and it appears that it associates with higher levels of happiness similar to walking and biking.”  Author Graham Ambrose added that “The boost to emotional well-being is comparable to other leisure activities.”

This further emphasises that everyday activities can be extremely beneficial to our health and wellbeing, and reaffirms that if you do have a garden, doing the gardening can be a great way of reaping the benefits to our emotional, physical and mental wellbeing.

Importantly, this also highlights that physical activity doesn’t need to be strenuous to be effective and even if you don’t have a garden, there is an abundance of accessible everyday activities which people can use to unlock the benefits of physical activity.

Moreover, it’s important to focus on the activities that are right for you and remember that, whatever circumstances we find ourselves in, there are always ways to make the most of your movement to benefit your physical, mental and emotional wellbeing. Physical activity is multidimensional and whether your focus is on minimising your daily non-sedentary time or increasing your moderate activity, it’s all good for your health. Recognising that activity is multi-dimensional allows us to find the true value in every movement we make, and simply understanding this, is a huge step in the right direction to improving your health and wellbeing in a way which is personal to you.

The KiActiv® Team

The wider impact of COVID-19 on long-term health conditions

12 June 2020

Monday the 23rd of March 2020 marked the government’s instruction for the country to go into a nationwide lockdown. The result, is nearly the entire UK population entering a period of self-isolation within the confinement of their own homes. This new stage will bring challenges for us all, especially in terms of maintaining our health.

Physical activity is vital for the treatment and prevention of many long-term health conditions, and the effects have been described by healthcare professionals as a “miracle cure.” Now, more than ever before highlights the need to understand the multidimensional nature of physical activity. Although we have the opportunity for an hour of exercise each day, this is in fact a very limited window, and it’s likely that we’re all missing out on activities that we would normally take for granted within our day. Whether this be the daily commute, going out for lunch, a trip to the shops, or even doing the school run – all of these activities matter and can add up to make a big difference which can’t just be discounted from our day.  It’s therefore essential that we view the bigger picture of the whole day, as an opportunity to stay active and think about making the most of every movement we make.

Millions of people harness the benefits of physical activity to help manage their health, with statistics showing that there are at least 15 million people living with long term-health conditions in the UK. In addition to this, it’s estimated that 20% of these people live with 3 or more long term-health conditions.

This uncertain stage of isolation will make balancing the management of long-term health conditions extremely tough, and this will only be re-enforced over the next 12-weeks. It’s therefore vital that we not only focus on the direct impact of COVID-19, but also consider the wider impact of isolation on other health conditions, to ensure that mismanagement now doesn’t create a burden on health services further down the line.

If people do not carefully manage their long-term health conditions over the course of isolation, we could see a huge surge in the number of hospital admissions in an already stretched healthcare service. This has the potential to over burden the NHS at a time when they are already struggling to meet wait times, find enough beds, and support the most vulnerable during a pandemic which has firmly gripped the country.

Empowering people to self-manage their condition using the power of physical activity is something all of us here at KiActiv® are firmly behind. It’s likely that there are already activities in our day which provide a good source of movement. This could be anything from housework to gardening, or even going for a walk – the key is finding what works for you and making the most of your movement. Sustaining any improvements during this time, will bring huge benefits to your health and wellbeing, and is a big step in right direction to leading longer and healthier life.

The Role of Physical Activity in Managing Long Term Conditions

Hypertension is commonly known as high blood pressure. The primary benefit of physical activity for hypertension is a reduction in blood pressure, with studies highlighting that a positive dose-response relationship exists between physical activity and reducing the risk of hypertension – meaning the more activity you do, the lower your risk.

Coronary heart disease (CHD) is a condition caused when the hearts blood supply becomes blocked or interrupted. Physical activity helps the heart work better and is essential to keeping it strong and healthy. Inactivity and sedentary behaviour mean you use your muscles less and they become weaker. The heart is a muscle, so inactivity weakens your heart, as well as raising your blood pressure through blood vessels further narrowing and increasing the risk of developing blood clots.

Chronic obstructive pulmonary disorder (COPD) is a lung condition which leads to difficulty breathing. It’s vital that physical activity levels are maintained over the next 12-weeks in order to avoid the vicious cycle of inactivity. Inactivity leads to respiratory muscles being used less which means they become weaker. As this continues over time, the condition becomes worse which will make everyday tasks even harder.

Type-2 diabetes is a condition whereby a physically active lifestyle is one of the single most important things which can be done to help control your blood glucose levels. This is achieved through making the body more sensitive to insulin, and by helping the body use glucose as a fuel for our working muscles. Isolation measures will likely lead to an increase in sedentary time and inactivity which will increase the immediate risk of health complication, if blood glucose levels are not carefully monitored.

Lymphoedema is a long-term condition which results in a build-up of fluid caused by an impaired lymph system. Regular physical activity is essential in managing the condition as muscle contractions allow fluid to move between our tissues and lymph vessels. Inactivity over the next 12-weeks will see the lymph system become impaired and result in increased swelling due to a build-up of fluid.

The KiActiv® Team

How inactivity during COVID-19 could increase the risk of falls and frailty

5 June 2020

The self-isolation imposed by COVID-19 has the potential to significantly increase sedentary time and drastically reduce the physical activity levels of many.

Maintaining an active lifestyle during self-isolation is not only essential for our current physical, mental and emotional health, but will be vital to our health and wellbeing long after “normal” life resumes.

If we let our day-to-day lives get increasingly sedentary, we will find ourselves using our muscles less and less. The disuse of muscles due to a sedentary lifestyle can dramatically enhance the age-related decline in muscle mass, metabolic health and functional capacity. These effects can be especially detrimental in older adults.

Older people who do not move enough, can have an increased risk of reduced bone mass and muscle strength, reduced mobility, increased dependence, confusion, and demotivation. This effects well-being as well as physical function and could result in falls, amongst a number of other unwanted outcomes.

According to AgeUK, there are nearly 12 million adults over 65 in the UK. Up to 30% of them will have at least one fall a year and about half of these will fall more frequently. One in five falls may require medical attention. For health services, falls are both high volume and high cost. We mustn’t allow the public health measures put in place to reduce the spread of COVID-19 to increase the demand being placed on our already over-stretched NHS in other ways, not to mention the impact a fall has on the individual and their family.

Physical activity has been shown to be the most promising falls prevention strategy. It can improve strength, balance and other risk areas that may contribute to falls. And, the good news is that, in this time of uncertainty, the amount we move is something we can control.

Physical activity has multiple dimensions that we can take advantage of to gain the innumerable health benefits. So, each of us can choose what we want to do to optimise our physical activity and harness all of its protective properties. The key is to find out what “counts” for us and research shows that for preventing falls:

  • Incidental physical activity is beneficial. This is the unstructured activity that’s part of your everyday life, like doing the housework, cooking a meal, or doing the gardening
  • You don’t have to do your moderate intensity physical activity in one go, you can spread it out throughout the day in manageable chunks
  • It’s never too late to benefit from being more physically active

The end goal during self-isolation is to prevent long term physical and mental health damage by sitting less and moving as often as possible. So, how are you going to choose to move today?

The KiActiv® Team

What you can do to keep moving during lockdown

3 April 2020

For many of us, the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister in his address to the nation on Monday 23rd March were totally unprecedented. Being asked to limit our outside movements to only the most essential journeys are mandatory guidelines few ever expected to hear during peacetime. Whilst it is extremely important to adhere to the new guidelines to save lives and ease the burden on the NHS, it is also crucial we all do our best to ensure we remain healthy at home during these uncertain times, in part for the immediate benefit of our health, but also to reduce the risk of developing or worsening chronic health conditions with a long-term view of easing the strain on our healthcare system.

The government has recognised that the ‘draconian’ measures in place are highly likely to have a detrimental impact on physical and mental well-being, particularly for those who have been asked to self-isolate for a period of 12-weeks. However, they have repeatedly stressed the importance of doing what we can to stay as active as possible. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways of keeping active around the house, and here at KiActiv® because we know physical activity is multi-dimensional, we are well placed to help you find the value in your everyday movement. We have had 1000s users come through our various programmes, which enables us to draw valuable insights from over 100 million minutes of real-life data.

For this blog, we analysed our database to find common examples of home-based activities our clients have tagged with the purpose of shining a light on the various different ways we can keep ourselves moving during self-isolation. Cooking, cleaning and tidying popped up regularly, suggesting that the mundane household chores we wouldn’t traditionally consider as physical activity are actually great sources of movement. Other household activities such as vacuuming, DIY, baking, playing the Wii and doing the washing up all appeared frequently, underlining the countless possibilities for physical activity within the confines of our homes.

If you are fortunate enough to have a garden at home, getting outside presents a number of opportunities to keep active such as digging, weeding and mowing the lawn. All are great examples of everyday activities we could think about incorporating into our new way of life. What’s more important perhaps is realising that the same activity can be a different intensity depending on the individual. Walking was a popular activity amongst KiActiv® users, and was by far the most tagged activity in our user database. Of these walks, 48% were classed as light intensity, whilst 40% were moderate intensity.

This highlights that physical activity is personal to each of us and what works for one person could be different from the next. The more important take home is that walking is an extremely effective way of keeping active, so where possible, we should make the most of our opportunity to get out of the house – but make sure to follow government guidelines and limit this to local activity once per day.

Due to the wide-ranging age demographic of KiActiv® users, we were also able to get an idea regarding how the average intensity of activity changes as we age. Generally speaking, the percentage of tagged activities that were a light intensity increased with age, whilst the opposite was seen for both moderate and vigorous intensity activity.

We know that activity is multi-dimensional, so activity does not need to be strenuous to carry benefits. Whether your focus be on minimising your daily non-sedentary time or increasing your weekly vigorous bouts of activity, it’s all good for our health. Recognising that activity is multi-dimensional allows us to find the true value in each and every movement we make, providing us with a vital piece of the puzzle to keeping healthy at home during the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond.

The KiActiv® Team

Colorectal Cancer Awareness – April 2020

31 March 2020

Colorectal Cancer is the 4th most common type of cancer in the UK, affecting approximately 268,000 people with an estimated 42,000 newly diagnosed cases every year. The movement to raise awareness for colorectal cancer was started in the year 2000, whereby April was officially dedicated as National Colorectal Cancer Awareness month in the UK. Through dedicating a whole month to raise awareness for the condition, it has grown to become a rallying point for thousands of patients, survivors, caregivers, and advocates across the whole country.

Interestingly, research has shown that approximately 54% of colorectal cancer cases are preventable, meaning there are changes we can make to our lifestyles to reduce our risk of the condition. One such lifestyle choice is the choice to include more movement in our daily lives.

Physical activity plays a key role in the prevention and treatment of many health-related conditions and has long been referred to as a ‘miracle cure.’ There is a growing pool of evidence highlighting the positive impact of physical activity on colorectal cancer. One meta-analysis evaluated the findings of 19 studies which assessed the relationship between physical activity and the risk of colorectal cancer. The collective results from the studies were astounding and showed a statistically significant reduction in the risk of colorectal cancer. Men and women who took part in regular physical activity reduced their risk by 21% and 29%, respectively.

These findings are supported by another study which looked into how much physical activity people needed to do to reduce their risk of developing colorectal cancer. The results showed that as little as 20 minutes of physical activity each day – equating to roughly 2 hours per week was enough to cut peoples risk by up to 24%. Importantly, physical activity didn’t need come from sport and exercise for people to gain these benefits – the activities we do in our everyday lives are enough. And we can all do a little bit more of the things we are already doing.

This echoes the core values here at KiActiv® as every movement you make matters and through approaching physical activity with a multidimensional view, the opportunities to stay active are endless. For many of us, it’s likely there are already activities in our day which provide a good source of movement. This could be anything from housework to washing the car or even making a meal. What’s important is finding what counts for you and making the most of your movement.

KiActiv®, empowers individuals  to self-manage their own physical activity, which is an important piece of the puzzle in preventing and treating colorectal cancer and, for all of us, a step in the right direction to having more control over our health and wellbeing forever.

The KiActiv® Team

Continuing Care During COVID-19

24 March 2020

The Challenge We Face

Across the UK millions of people require support and rehabilitation services to help manage their Long Term Conditions (LTCs) and overall health. Unfortunately, as a result of measures to slow the spread of COVID-19, face-to-face, clinic based services are being temporarily stopped and people are requested to stay at home, which is interrupting care for a vast number of people. Further to this, isolation measures are increasing the risk of inactivity, which is proven to be a major contributing factor to a deterioration in mental and physical health.

Chris Whitty, the Chief Medical Officer for England, identified the need to support those in isolation to manage their own health as part of the overall goal of reducing deaths from all causes during COVID-19. In order to do this effectively, we must utilise technology and remote services to provide a continuation of care for those that need it and, as much as is possible, reduce the future impact of this crisis on peoples’ health outcomes and the NHS.

What Are We Doing?

KiActiv® are continuing to deliver our remote, technology enabled services to support people with Long Term Conditions or undergoing Rehabilitation, to improve their self-care. We are currently delivering services in the following areas across the NHS and we also have additional capacity to help people stay healthy at home using everyday physical activity.

  • Long Term Condition Management (Type 2 Diabetes, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disorder (COPD), Hypertension, Coronary Heart Disease, Lymphoedema and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome)
  • Rehabilitation Services (Frailty and Falls Prevention, Pulmonary Rehabiliation)
  • Prehabilitation Services (as part of a surgical pathway for Colorectal Cancer)

We have witnessed astonishing behaviour change amongst over 1000 NHS patients in a short period of time and many are accompanied by truly heart-warming stories of better health.

The recent response from participants with Long Term Condition’s and other Rehabilitation services to us continuing to provide care has been overwhelmingly positive. We are witnessing that people are readily embracing the limitations to their environment and finding new ways to be active for the benefit of their conditions, and their mental wellbeing. This reflects our previous experience of housebound individuals and those in a restricted environment showing resilience and ingenuity to benefit the health.

What is KiActiv® Health?

KiActiv® Health is a personalised and guided online service that empowers people to increase physical activity within their everyday lives, and without the need for visits to clinics or gyms. We integrate clinically proven behaviour change technology in an interactive personalised dashboard that uses data from an accurate activity tracker and dedicated remote mentor support. It is focused on everyday movement and promotes the opportunities to be active across all ~112 waking hours a week, rather than 1-2 hours of an exercise, with no barriers to age or mobility.

During the KiActiv® Health programme, participants are supported by phone calls with a trained KiActiv® Mentor at key times across 12 weeks. The calls help participants build an understanding of the value of their daily activities and the confidence to plan, monitor and improve, without compulsion or prescription. At the end of the 12 weeks the participants will have continued access to their personal dashboard and activity monitor to enable them to continue their self-management and the changes to their daily routines.

Our service provides people with a unique and personalised understanding of everyday physical activity for health, enabling them to make healthy, sustainable choices that suit their condition, capacity and environment.

If you are an NHS organisation looking to increase the remote support you can offer to your patients in Long Term Condition and Rehabilitation pathways, please get in touch with Tommy Parker using the form below.

The KiActiv® Team

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