The first Monday of 2015 has now come and gone and many of us have started our well-intentioned work on New Year’s Resolutions. It turns out that according to a recent study from Imperial College London, social media can help us achieve the most popular resolution – weight loss.
Imperial College’s findings suggest that social media can contribute to “modest but significant“weight loss and has the potential to help address growing obesity rates. The idea behind this study was to use of social networking sites, including Twitter and Facebook, to provide those struggling with obesity with support from both peers and health care professionals. The researchers found that “The feeling of being part of a community allows patients to draw on the support of their peers as well as clinicians. They can get advice from their doctor without the inconvenience or cost of having to travel, and clinicians can provide advice to many patients simultaneously.”
On top of using social media to achieve fitness goals, dozens of Android and iOS apps are on the market to do everything from tracking sleep patterns to counting calories. International App testing company Applause has recently published the 2015 State of the US Health and Fitness Apps Economy report. This document reviews nearly 70 health, fitness, and medical apps and ranks them based on customer ratings. The image below, included in the report, will give you an idea of the types of apps available and where they rank when compared to one another:
I plan on shedding a few pounds in 2015, and have turned not to social media, but to my smartphone for help. Instead of using several apps for individual purposes, I’ve decided to use Samsung’s S Health App. This one app allows me to track my resting heart rate improvements over time, steps I take each day, calories burned, food I’ve consumed, cardio exercise routines, and my weight fluctuations. The app is not perfect, as some of this data needs to be inputted manually, and I can’t seem to find a way to track my resistance training. I’ve been using the S Health app for about 4 months now and it seems to help keep me on track…but like most of us, I do see the scale going in both directions, not just down.
What are your resolutions for 2015? Will you be using social media and tech to help achieve your goals? I would love to hear what you are using.