Evaluating the inverse, non-linear dose-response relationship between physical activity and the risk of disease and early death

7 March 2023

A recent article published in the BMJ has attempted to further define the dose-response relationship between physical activity and the risk of all-cause, CVD-related and Cancer-related mortality and incidence.

The new research incorporates a sample size far greater than any previous publication in this space, utilising extensive methods to harmonise ‘exposure data’ and draw conclusions from an evidence base consisting of over 160 million person-years and 810,000 deaths. These figures are 17- and 7-fold larger, respectively, than those included in the previously largest physical activity dose–response analysis.

The top-line outcomes are unsurprising. In general, higher physical activity levels were associated with a lower risk of all negative health outcomes, and the differences in risk were greatest between 0 and 8.75 marginal metabolic equivalent of task-hours per week (mMET-hours/week), roughly equivalent to 150 mins/week of moderate-to-vigorous intensity physical activity (MVPA). This fits well with the existing research base, and provides further evidence to validate the inverse, non-linear dose-response relationship between physical activity and disease risk.

A particularly interesting outcome from the study relates to the benefits of doing ‘some’ physical activity versus doing nothing. The meta-analysis found that 1 in 10 premature deaths could potentially be avoided by doing the equivalent of 75 mins/week of MVPA. A number of media outlets have picked up on this, reducing their headlines to simple soundbites along the lines of: “Just 11 mins of activity per day can reduce risk of early death.” Whilst the findings can indeed be interpreted in this manner, we think there are two important points to consider.

Firstly, the risk reduction the authors are referring to here relates specifically to people who are completely inactive to begin with. If a previously inactive individual were to increase their activity level to achieve 75 mins/week of MVPA, 1 in 10 premature deaths would be avoided. This does not mean those individuals already doing more than this should reduce their activity level to match, as this would be detrimental to their health. Secondly, we must emphasise that the researchers assigned standardised mMET-hr values for different physical activity intensities, which unfortunately cannot account for the different types of daily activities performed at that specific intensity. As such, the activity intensities, and the subsequent public health-based messaging, are often boiled down to single activities (i.e., walking is good for you), with little recognition for everyday activities of a similar intensity (i.e., shopping, vacuuming can also be good for you). A simple tweak to the language and messaging would make the benefits of physical activity far more accessible and appealing to all.

Due to the sheer number of individual studies included in the meta-analysis to form the substantial sample size, many different methods for assessing physical activity are used across the different studies. Interestingly, the researchers acknowledged stronger associations between physical activity and health outcomes in studies which used objective physical activity monitoring, as opposed to self-report measures. This perhaps reflects the inconsistencies and inaccuracies associated with self-reported physical activity, which relies on the accuracy of an individual’s understanding and recall. Another small compromise made by the researchers, likely as a result of the large sample size, is the exclusion of occupational physical activity. Whilst there are a number of difficulties in accurately assessing occupational physical activity, particularly when using self-reported measures, it does make up a significant proportion of a typical adult’s daily lifestyle. As such, any analysis which excludes this specific component of physical activity must be mindful of this as a limitation, and we hope to see future studies build on this gap in the evidence base.

In summary, despite a number of limitations, many of which are highlighted by the authors, this new research adds significant weight to the inverse, non-linear dose-response relationship between physical activity and disease risk. Whilst it represents a step forward in the consolidation of the evidence base, concerns remain around how the findings are reported in the wider press. We understand the need to simplify the outcomes for a lay audience, however, the ‘one-size fits all’ messaging risks portraying physical activity as unidimensional, which is simply not true. From our experience, an alternative approach, which rethinks physical activity as far more than a set of simplistic, structured activities will be far more appealing and accessible to the wider population. Finally, now that the basic inverse, non-linear dose-response theory has been appropriately consolidated, we hope to see future studies adopt new, objective methods of PA assessment to enable wider analysis of ‘all’ daily physical activity, not just that which is non-occupational. This will enable the identification of the independent benefits and risks of different daily/weekly physical activity profiles, and support a personalised approach to physical activity and its potential impact on individual lives.

The KiActiv® Team

National Heart Month – you can improve your heart health this February!

15 February 2023

February is National Heart Month, dedicated to raising awareness about a range of heart conditions and, therefore, emphasising the importance of keeping our hearts healthy.

Cardiovascular disease (CVD) is the world’s biggest killer. In 2016 alone, a staggering 17.9 million people lost their lives as a result of CVD, representing 31% of all global deaths (WHO, 2021). In addition, it is estimated that 7.4 million individuals are currently living with CVD in the UK.

The 4 main types of CVD are:

Coronary heart disease (CHD): refers to when the blood supply to the heart is blocked or interrupted by a build-up of fatty substances (atheroma) in the coronary arteries. Narrowing of the coronary arteries due to a build-up of atheroma can cause angina (chest pains). However, a heart attack can occur if a coronary artery becomes completely blocked.

Stroke: refers to when the blood supply to the brain is disturbed. The main stroke symptoms can be remembered with the word FAST which stands for:

  • Face – the face may have drooped on one side
  • Arms – unable to lift one’s arm and keep it raised
  • Speech – may be absent or appear slurred.
  • Time – strokes require urgent treatment, therefore 999 should be dialled immediately if any of these signs or symptoms are present

Peripheral arterial disease (PAD): occurs when there is a blockage in the arteries to the limbs. Many people with PAD have no symptoms, some develop a dull pain in thighs, hips or calves and often worsens when walking.

Aortic disease: refers to diseases associated with the largest blood vessel in the body. The most common type of aortic disease is an aortic aneurysm, which is where the wall of the aorta becomes weakened and bulges outwards, resulting in chest, back or stomach pain.

There are a variety of risk factors that may contribute to the development of CVD, including high blood pressure and high cholesterol, which can be influenced by both our genetics and lifestyle choices. Surprisingly, it is estimated that over 30% of adults with high blood pressure aren’t aware they have it. The good news is that many of these risk factors are modifiable and, thus, largely in our control. By understanding the factors contributing to CVD risk, we can be empowered to make positive lifestyle changes to benefit our heart health.

Prioritizing physical activity is among the best things you can do for your heart (Li & Siegrist, 2012). For some, physical activity sounds daunting, but it doesn’t need to be! Physical activity simply refers to any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure (WHO, 2022). So, physical activity includes everyday activities too, such as washing the car, ironing or just walking to work.

Physical activity doesn’t need to be vigorous because all intensities of movement can impact CVD risk (Tanasescu, 2002). Finding physical activity that you feel is enjoyable and sustainable holds the key. There is a type of physical activity for us all!

One of our clients illustrated this understanding, a 59-year-old male, demonstrating that physical activity can also be used to manage CVD after experiencing a heart attack.

“KiActiv® has been the catalyst for changing my daily life from a sedentary state to a
significantly more active lifestyle. I recommend KiActiv® to all those who want to improve
personal well-being and personal satisfaction.

I couldn’t have done this alone, enjoying the initial support and personalised programme, along
with ongoing encouragement to help me understand my activity data. Reviewing my progress
is motivating. Cold and wet days can still be active days around the house.

I have changed my life to enjoy adding more vigour to those routine household
chores such as ironing, gardening, hoovering, washing the kitchen floor. All have had a positive impact for my active lifestyle.

Everyone can achieve a more active lifestyle with little need for more strenuous exercise. Just getting out of your chair every fifteen minutes is a step forward.”

KiActiv® Health aims to provide you with the knowledge to use physical activity as a tool to self-manage your health and well-being. Our role is to help you identify the different types of movement happening during your day, their intensity and how they make you feel. This information can help you to make informed decisions about managing your physical activity levels in the context of your health and capacity.

If you would like to learn more about optimising your everyday physical activity to protect against CVD or to self-manage a long-term heart condition, click here to take action.

The KiActiv® Team

It’s rheumatoid arthritis awareness day! The role of physical activity in managing rheumatoid arthritis

2 February 2023

What is Rheumatoid arthritis?

Rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is an inflammatory autoimmune disease affecting 5 per 1000 people and commonly leads to disability (Alethea and Smolen, 2018). It is associated with tendon inflammation which leads to cartilage destruction and bone erosion (Lin, Anzaghe and Schülke, 2020). Some of the symptoms include pain, stiffness, swelling and fatigue, all of which can reduce the quality of life of those affected by the condition (Metsios and Kitas, 2018).

What’s the role of physical activity in managing Rheumatoid arthritis?

Physical activity is a key component for effectively treating and managing of RA (Metsios and Kitas, 2018), however, many individuals still fail to incorporate enough of it into their everyday lives. This is likely due to the common misconception that physical activity must be of a vigorous intensity – akin to structured exercise – to be of benefit to our bodies. This is simply not true, in fact, physical activity is defined as “any bodily movement which causes a rise in energy expenditure” (Caspersen, Powell and Christenson, 1985), thus, even normal activities of daily living such as cooking, cleaning or washing the car contribute towards our daily physical activity levels. This fits well with physical activity guidelines for RA, which state that vigorous exercise is not recommended in case of flare-ups (exacerbation of symptoms) as this can have a negative impact on the individual. In contrast, low-impact physical activity such as walking and swimming put less stress on the body and can reduce arthritis pain, improve functionality and quality of life (CDC, 2018). It is worth highlighting that some physical activity is better than none. Even though it is important to modify activity in accordance to pain levels, it is recommended by the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for people with RA to stay active as much as possible without worsening their symptoms.

Why KiActiv® Health?

With tailored one-to-one support from a personal KiActiv® Mentor, the personalised nature of KiActiv® Health empowers sustainable behaviour change for physical activity and self-care, in the context of your health, preferences and environment. Supporting you to find your own optimum level of physical activity in a way that suits your needs and preferences has always been a priority for us at KiActiv®. Our personalised approach to empowering physical activity behaviour change ensures that you will develop the necessary skills to maintain your new, optimised level of physical activity far beyond the initial 12-week programme and continue to experience the health benefits that are associated with long-term self-care.

If you like the sound of taking a personalised approach towards harnessing the power of your everyday physical activity to self-manage your RA, other health conditions or just improve your general health and wellbeing, click here to begin your journey with KiActiv® today, and take steps towards a healthier, happier you!

The KiActiv® Team

Post-holiday blues don’t need to be as tough this year

27 January 2023

The third Monday in January is commonly labelled “Blue Monday” and is supposedly the saddest day of the year. Whilst this idea is probably a myth, many of us feel the impact of the cold, dark days that follow the festivities of the winter holiday season. The term ‘post-holiday blues’ refers to temporary feelings of depression and anxiety during and after the holiday period (Foundry, 2022), with symptoms including loneliness and isolation, sadness, stress, and frustration. In fact, 64% of people report being affected by post-holiday depression mainly caused by the emotional and physical stress of the season (Psycom, 2021).

The reason for this may lie behind the fact that during the holiday season ‘regular’ life is usually interrupted. Once we get back to our normal routines, the brain tends to exaggerate realities of daily life and make the return to the mundane seem more anxiety-inducing and depressing than it actually is (Psycom, 2021). This is why it is very important to take care both of your physical and mental health during that ‘return to normal’ period.

Taking care of your health is extremely important especially if you are struggling with ‘post-holiday blues’. The good news is that there is a way of alleviating the feelings of anxiety and depression during that challenging period.

One of the best ways of taking care both of your body and your mind is through physical activity (Pearce et al., 2022; Reiner et al., 2013; Saxena et al., 2009). Even small doses of physical activity can help you lower the risk of depression and benefit your mental wellbeing. And, you don’t have to do vigorous intensity physical activity in order to feel the benefits of movement (Pearce et al., 2022).

Introducing regular physical activity into your everyday routine can help you manage the symptoms of ‘post-holiday blues’. This can look different for different people. Some may enjoy going for a walk outside, some prefer to stay home and do the housework, and for others, it is something entirely different. What matters is that you engage in activities that you enjoy doing and that would make you feel happy. Sometimes simply having something to look forward to, whether that would be cooking, walking your dog or going for a coffee with a friend, enhances your mood and benefits your well-being, adding to the benefit of actually doing the planned activity (Psycom, 2022).

Many of our clients at KiActiv® have shared the positive impact that physical activity has had on how they feel:

“Walking in the evening helps with my mental wellbeing and lets me destress (Female, 20-years old)”

“I spent the day tidying up the house and I was in a better mindset because I was doing stuff (Female, 25-years old)”

“I feel more positive about small achievements (leading to changes) and this programme helped me to realise this (Female, 44-years old)”

“I changed my way of thinking, I started thinking positively (Male, 45-years old)”

I am feeling better in myself and about my health (Male, 54-years old)”

“It has changed my mental attitude (Male, 92-years old)”

As well as gaining an understanding of their everyday physical activity, KiActiv® Health clients have the opportunity to keep a record of both how they feel physically and emotionally by having 24/7 access to the tools and visualisations on their personal online dashboard. If you would like to make a positive change to your health you can click here to sign up and start taking control of your physical and mental wellbeing. If you are also interested in how to start creating healthy habits, you can click here to read one of our previous blogs on this topic.

The KiActiv® Team

Our Abstract from the Annual BACPR Conference has been published in the BMJ Heart Journal!

10 January 2023

Starting the New Year as we mean to go on, we are excited to announce that in partnership with Liverpool University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, we have had a scientific abstract published in the prestigious journal, BMJ Heart – https://lnkd.in/e2QX_AYJ

The abstract, titled “Real-world evaluation of a technology-enabled system for the augmentation of physical activity behaviour change in cardiac rehabilitation,” was presented by the LUH clinical team at the annual British Association for Cardiovascular Prevention and Rehabilitation conference in October 2022, and demonstrates the findings of our latest study on the effectiveness of the KiActiv® Health programme for improving patient outcomes in cardiac rehabilitation.

We are thrilled to have our work recognised by the scientific and cardiology communities, and are grateful for the opportunity to contribute to digital innovation within the field. We continue to demonstrate that our innovation has the potential to improve the lives of countless individuals who would benefit from cardiac rehabilitation, particularly those who are unwilling or unable to engage with traditional services.

Thank you to all of our dedicated team members and partners who made this publication possible and we look forward to sharing more of our research with the community in the very near future.

The KiActiv® Team

Every move you make matters for your mental health this winter

28 December 2022

With the cold weather and darker days officially here, many people will start to notice the impact on their mental health. Whilst the impact will vary from person to person, you might experience symptoms such as a lack of energy, having difficulty concentrating, feeling sad, guilty, low, and/or tearful, and increased feelings, and or not wanting to socialise (Met Office, 2022; Mind, 2022).

Your mental health help to determine how you handle stress, different emotions and what choices you are making regarding your health (CDC, 2021). Importantly, mental health issues such as depression can increase the risk of physical illnesses like diabetes, heart disease and stroke. That is why taking care of your mental wellbeing is just as important as taking care of your physical health.

The good news is that there is a way of taking care both of your mental and physical health.
Research shows that physical activity can have a significant mental health benefit and what is more, it doesn’t have to be structured or vigorous exercise (Pearce et al., 2022). Even a brisk walk a few times per week or engaging in-door activities can be effective in improving your mental wellbeing. In fact, every move we make can matter for our physical and mental health.

You don’t have to engage in structured exercise or vigorous intensity activity to benefit from movement. When you are choosing to use physical activity to improve your mental wellbeing, any movement can count. The best part is that you are free to choose the activities that you enjoy doing most and would make you feel happy.  Even the everyday activities you can do around your house, in the garden and art-making activities are also known to have a positive impact on your mood and the way you are feeling emotionally (University of Florida, 2022). And this is true for those who are in good health and for people who have different medical conditions. Both gardening and producing art is a great way to express your creativity, increase your physical activity and boost your mood.

Many KiActiv® Health clients have experienced the numerous benefits that come with everyday physical activity including those related to improving your mental wellbeing. Our accredited KiActiv® Mentors provide the necessary support and guidance to enable clients to optimise and self-manage their physical activity to reach their health and wellbeing goals.

This is what one of our KiActiv® Health clients, a female who was struggling with depression, shared:

“It’s helped my depression tremendously. The psychotherapist said it’s doing me a world of good, making me get out and about more.”

“It’s given me a sort of boost – a real ‘let’s do it!’ Do everything! Get healthy!”

“I’ve already recommended this programme to some of my friends.”

If you want to take control over your physical activity levels and improve both your physical and mental wellbeing in the context of your own health circumstances, you can click here to express your interest in KiActiv® Health.

The KiActiv® Team

‘The Blue Zones’: how we can live longer and healthier lives!

19 December 2022

It is well known that physical activity can improve our health, but can we lengthen our lives through doing a specific type of activity?

Findings from the ‘Danish Twin Study’ suggest that only 20% of our lifespans are determined by our genetics, whereas 80% is influenced by our lifestyles. In 2004, Dan Buettner – fixated on finding these lifestyle factors contributing to longevity, came across ‘The 5 Blue Zones’.

A Blue Zone is a term given to a geographical place where people live the longest and happiest lives, with the lowest rates of chronic disease. Their healthy lifestyles are thought to be the reason for this. The five blue zones are:

  • Icaria, Greence
  • Loma Linda, USA
  • Nicoya Pennisula, Costa Rica
  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Sardinia, Italy

It was established that people living in these blue zones share nine lifestyle habits, with one being their approach to physical activity. The health benefits of physical activity are well-established. However, people living in these blue zones view physical activity differently to most people. Instead of going to the gym or doing an intense workout, they implement natural movement throughout their day.

Dan Buettner, CEO of Blue Zones LLC: “The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work. And they walk every single day. Almost everywhere.”

Therefore, using our opportunities for everyday movement can make us live longer. By walking to the shops, taking the stairs or just reminding ourselves to take regular breaks when sitting, can contribute to an increased Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis (NEAT).

NEAT refers to physical activity that isn’t exercise or a structured workout. People within the blue zones achieve a high NEAT through their emphasis on natural movements.

For example, the Ikarians in Greece keep physically active through gardening and in Okinawa, Tai-Chi is commonly practiced. Whereas Sardinian shepherds walk over 5 miles on mountainous terrain. Being aware of the different types of physical activity and opportunities for movement throughout the day is key. There are countless ways to benefit your health through physical activity!

Physical activity is more than ‘exercise’ or ‘sport’, it should be enjoyable for everyone. If exercise feels like a chore, then spreading your movement out across the ~112 waking hours of the week can be a great alternative! This doesn’t mean that we need to eliminate exercise, but it is important to understand the role of moving naturally too. At KiActiv®, we understand that all movement counts and is beneficial for your health!

The KiActiv® Team

The importance of sitting less and moving more

5 December 2022

We can often find ourselves sitting down still for long periods of time and/or moving less throughout the day. Both of these can have some serious negative implications on our long-term health and it is important to take measures to increase our physical activity and decrease our sedentary time.

Sedentary behviour involves activities with an energy expenditure of ≤1.8 metabolic equivalents (METs), performed mainly in a sitting or supine position (Peacock et al., 2015; Jans et al., 2007).

Research shows that spending more time being sedentary can increase the risk of all-cause mortality, cardiovascular disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity (Gray, 2022; Saunders et al., 2020). In addition to being at risk of the aforementioned chronic diseases, people who “sit too much” are also at increased risk of brain and mental health issues, lower quality of life, disability and pain.

The good news is that there are a lot of different activities that we can engage in to break long periods of sedentary time. For example, going for a walk, doing some housework, dancing, gardening, commuting to work and many more! It is important to remember that physical activity is not limited to sport and structured exercise. You can explore what types of activities you enjoy doing and think about how you can introduce them to your everyday life to benefit your health and wellbeing.

Sedentary behaviour is a risk factor that you can modify by incorporating more daily movement into your life and this can take the form of a multitude of activities. That means we can all find ways to move our bodies that we enjoy! Evidence shows that it is crucial for people’s health to incorporate more physical activity into their daily lives to minimise and/or break up long periods of sedentary time in order to reduce the risk of the above-mentioned health conditions (Gray, 2022). Being too sedentary is a health hazard but the good news is that you have the power to change it.

Regular physical activity is known to have health benefits in all age groups. Some of those include improved sleep and mental wellbeing, weight management, increased quality of life, reduced risk of type 2 diabetes, dementia and other chronic diseases (Reiner et al., 2013; Saxena et al., 2009).

Some health benefits of regular movement are particularly important for older adults. For instance, physical activity can also result in improvement of musculoskeletal fitness and maintaining musculoskeletal health will allow older people to perform daily activities, such as walking or climbing stairs, independently and in a safer manner (Warburton et al., 2006).

Many of us have an office-based job or do other work or study that means we find ourselves sitting still for the majority of our day. As we spend a large proportion of our adult life at work, this makes the workplace an important site for physical activity interventions to take place. However, most of those interventions focus exclusively on increasing physical activity during working hours (Gray, 2022). Whilst interventions have tried to increase participation in leisure time sport and exercise, the opportunity support people to increase their everyday movement during non-working hours has been neglected.

At KiActiv® we take into account all ~112 waking hours of the week and with the help of our wearable technology and personalized online dashboard, individuals are empowered to take control of their everyday movement. Our accredited KiActiv® Mentors, clients provide the necessary support and guidance to enable clients to optimize and self-manage their physical activity in the context of their health. That way, after the initial 12-weeks of the service are over, clients will have the necessary skills and autonomy to continue their journey towards reaching their physical activity and health goals now and in the future.

The KiActiv® Team

It’s World Diabetes Day! The role of physical activity in the prevention and management of Type 2 Diabetes

14 November 2022

November 14th is World Diabetes Day and here at KiActiv® we see it as a great opportunity to raise awareness around the role of everyday physical activity in the prevention and management of diabetes.

“Diabetes is a chronic, metabolic disease characterized by elevated levels of blood glucose which leads over time to serious damage to the heart, blood vessels, eyes, kidneys and nerves” (World Health Organisation, 2022).

The most common types of diabetes are type 1 and type 2 diabetes. Type 1 diabetes is characterised by low-levels of insulin in the body or the inability of the pancreas to produce insulin by itself. Type 2 diabetes is characterised by the development of insulin resistance, or, in some cases, the body’s ability to produce enough insulin to function normally can be negatively impacted (WHO, 2022; WebMD, 2021). Both type 1 and type 2 diabetes are associated with difficulty in controlling blood glucose levels, which has a host of negative implications for health. Of the two, type 2 diabetes is by far the most common, whereby more than 95% of individuals living with diabetes have received a type 2 diagnosis.

The role of physical activity in preventing Type 2 Diabetes

It is well known that unhealthy lifestyle factors, such as excess body weight and physical inactivity, are key risk factors for developing type 2 diabetes (WHO, 2022; NHS, 2020; WebMD, 2021). Researchers have consistently found a strong link between physical activity and its ability to prevent the onset of type 2 diabetes. Even though physical activity has independent benefits in the prevention of this condition, it also helps with healthy weight-management (Goldberg and King, 2007). In addition, it appears that various physical activity intensities (i.e., light, moderate and vigorous) can have a positive impact for the prevention of type 2 diabetes (WHO, 2022; Jason and Cooper, 2008). This means that physical activities don’t necessarily need to be of a vigorous intensity – which is a common misconception – to carry benefits for your health. To read more about the power of physical activity for effectively preventing type 2 diabetes, read one of our earlier blogs here.

The role of physical activity in managing Type 2 Diabetes

Type 2 diabetes is becoming increasingly common in the United Kingdom, with around 3.9 million people currently diagnosed with the condition (Seidu et al., 2021). Unfortunately, this figure is expected to increase to over 5.3 million by 2025, further highlighting the importance of effectively managing type 2 diabetes. Physical activity plays a major role in the management of many chronic diseases, such as diabetes, and, according to research, has a positive impact on blood glucose control (Seidu et al., 2021).

Since any bodily movement that requires energy expenditure can be considered physical activity (WHO, 2022) you can choose from a variety of activities to engage in. If structured exercise or sport doesn’t appeal to you, there are plenty of other everyday activities which can benefit your health, many of which are likely to be a big part of your daily routine already! For instance, a brisk walk, gardening, hanging out the laundry, or even doing the hoovering all involve moving your body and expending energy. Understanding that each and every move we make matters – not just vigorous intensity exercise – is key to making better choices when it comes to our everyday physical activity. By incorporating more movement into our daily lives, we can increase our overall physical activity level and access many of the health benefits associated with being physically active!

The story of a KiActiv® client

Here is a great example from one of our clients, a 69-year-old male living with hypertension and type 2 diabetes. After the Covid-19 pandemic, he came to realise just how sedentary he had become, but with the help of his personalised KiActiv® technology, he was committed to change that. He accomplished his aim to increase his movement by introducing walking as part of his every day activities. At the end of the 12-week KiActiv programme, he managed to increase his physical movement by approximately 48 minutes per day.

“I miss it if I don’t do it. “

“I make a point now of making sure I’ve not sat too long. “

“I’ve lost about 5 lbs over the time I’ve been doing this!”

As part of the KiActiv® Health programme, he was provided with a wearable monitor device and 24/7 access to their online dashboard providing them with the opportunity to engage with their physical activity data and use the tools and visualisations to reach their health and wellbeing goals. After the initial 12-weeks of the programme, he provided us with this testimonial:

“I try to keep active but have not had any means of measurement and recording until I got the KiActiv® band and access to the website. The data provided revealed how much sedentary time I had. I never realised before. Consequently, I have been trying to develop a more active routine but as that involves outdoor activity it can be difficult to maintain on very rainy days, especially during the current epidemic. Having watched the graphs on the website show improving levels I feel satisfied that I am making progress. I feel fitter and healthier from the additional exercise and have list several pounds of weight, not that being overweight was a problem for me.”

KiActiv® Health is all about helping you understand your everyday physical activity and providing you with the necessary knowledge, skills and confidence to self-manage your physical activity in the context of your own health circumstances. If you would like to join the hundreds of people who chose to gain control over their health and learn how to use physical activity as a self-management tool for your long-term condition, you can click here to express your interest in participating.

The KiActiv® Team

It’s Cholesterol Awareness Month! How moving more can help you self-manage your cholesterol levels

24 October 2022

October is National Cholesterol Awareness Month and here at KiActiv® we decided to take this opportunity to discuss how physical activity, along with its numerous health benefits, can help you maintain healthy cholesterol levels and lead a healthier, happier life.

Cholesterol is a type of fat contained in our blood which is produced in the liver. It is also found in some foods that are high in saturated fat such as dairy, red meat and fried foods. Cholesterol is contained in every cell in your body and it has an important role in normal body functioning. However, if the level of cholesterol in your bloodstream becomes too high, it can lead to the development of certain health problems.

Low-density lipoprotein (LDL), or ‘bad’ cholesterol as it’s commonly known, can build-up on the walls of your blood vessels, making them become narrower. As a consequence of this narrowing, the blood flow to and from your heart and other organs can be restricted or blocked, increasing your risk of suffering a heart attack or stroke (American Heart Association, 2020).

The good news is that you can prevent this from happening by making healthy lifestyle changes such as eating a healthy, balanced diet and making sure that you move more during the day. Physical activity is a major part of keeping your LDL cholesterol at a healthy level, preventing any further associated health problems (Gibbs et al., 2021; NHS, 2022). What’s more, being more active can also reduce your blood pressure, help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of type 2 diabetes (Heart UK, 2022).

Physical activity can take many forms including walking, dancing, gardening, housework and many more everyday activities. You can engage in activities that you enjoy doing and feel comfortable with. It doesn’t have to be structured exercise to benefit your health! By sitting less and moving more, you can offset many of the long-term health conditions associated with having high cholesterol.

Our mission at KiActiv® is to help you take control of your health and guide you on your journey to make positive lifestyle changes that complement your normal routine. The combination of our patented technology, 24/7 access to a personalised online dashboard and one-to-one support from one of our accredited Mentors ensures that you will gain the necessary skills to self-manage your own everyday physical activity to improve and sustain your health and wellbeing.

Here is a great example from one of our clients, a 51-year-old female who is living with back pain and type 2 diabetes. During her 12-week KiActiv® Health programme, she achieved significant increases in her physical activity and continues to build on her success to this day.

Through small adjustments to the level of movement in her everyday life and by increasing her amount of walking, she was able to add almost 4 and a half hours of valuable movement and burn an extra ~300kcals per day. This increased calorie burn contributed to her significant weight loss during the programme.

“Since starting the programme I have lost over 10kg, something I have never been able to do before.  I feel and look better and with the help of the data feel inspired to ‘go that bit further’ each day, a confidence I never had before”

After completing KiActiv® Health, she had a blood test which highlighted that her cholesterol level had reduced significantly and her blood glucose had reduced to pre-diabetic levels too!

As part of the initial 12-weeks of KiActiv® Health our client had 6 x 20-minute telephone sessions at key times with her personal KiActiv® Mentor and as part of the testimonial she shared:

“I found the mentoring invaluable as I learnt that all movement counts, no matter how little – for instance take the washing upstairs in 3 piles instead of one, it really is that simple.  I found the online graphs and information easy to read and they themselves motivated me to do better and improve my stats and I now think about things like ‘should I walk or drive’ so much more.”

“I could not have done it without my mentor though, if I had just had the device, I know I wouldn’t have continued, she was definitely the jewel in the crown – thank you.“

We believe that everyday physical activity is the foundation of a healthy lifestyle and we are committed to helping you recognise that every move you make matters for your health and long-term wellbeing. If you would like to learn more about how to get started, to join hundreds of people in gaining control over their own health, you can register your interest here.

The KiActiv® Team

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