Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Helping You Find Healthy



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Helping You Find Healthy is a campaign which is run by Bupa. As part of their mission to help you find healthy, they have designed and created apps and devices which can help people to review their current health, assess their situation and gives advice on ways to improve or maintain that.

As I was researching the health content online I immediately started thinking about what I wanted from a heath app and what it could bring to my life that I didn't already get from my doctor’s surgery, diabetes clinic, podiatrist appointments and eye department. I want something fast, accessible, convenient, informative, educational, fun and easy to use! You could say that I'm difficult to please, but when it comes to my health I want the best that there is, and with technologies advancing and improving every day should I expect any less?

When I saw the words 'free' apps I was dubious about just how 'free' they would be. I expected to reach a certain point in the process and be stopped in my tracks to find my laptop demanding I crossed its (virtual) palm with silver before I could continue. It took only seconds to realise that I was wrong, and with a quick copy and paste of a link I was there, on my way to free apps and trusted advice galore!

My first impressions were that this campaign was, in short, impressive! The design and layout was clear, easy to navigate, user friendly and all in all looking pretty good! I quickly counted up 37 apps and then looked through the titles, 32 I could probably use at first glance! and the rest I could definitely recommend to others!

My eyes were drawn to the colours, the graphics, the familiar logo and the menu bar, all were very visually appealing. My first choice was the diabetes app, however I quickly moved on when I saw that the blurb read "Find out how to lower your risk of contracting diabetes." Now I'm not going to rant and rave about this, but I will point out that it should read: "How some can lower their risk of contracting Type 2 diabetes." This is of course an ongoing issue which needs addressing, if anything to educate those who aren't knowledgeable in the topic and who believe that type 1 diabetes is preventable.

Moving on I decided that I would look at one of the biggest issues in my life, stress. Diet, nutrition, BMI and exercise all contribute to my raised stress levels so obviously this seemed like the perfect choice. However I already knew what result I would get, I'd been feeling it all day, all week.

The fact that I was giving information to a machine made this easier as a machine wouldn't judge me, it wouldn't give me a disappointed or disapproving look, it didn't care about what I told it, but it would help me all the same. The assessment took me all of 1 minute and my result - bad. That's what it said and it told me nothing that I didn't already know. Work, lack of sleep, relationships and money worries are all contributing with the way that I feel, which I wasn't consciously aware of, I just knew that I felt stressed. What struck me most was that health wasn't mentioned once, yet I have always blamed stress on my diabetes. Now that I had seen my answers in black and white I was shocked to see how many other factors are contributing.
Next I looked for the assessment's partners: 'Beat Stress' and 'information on stress'. Now this is one tiny niggle that I did have about the layout and that is the apps have been scattered. I didn't take me long to find the related apps (around 3 seconds) but for me it would make more sense to have them grouped together. The next two stages gave scenarios, causes, treatments, tips and information, all of which I was glad to see. Dealing with stress can be difficult when we don't know how to approach it, but having it laid out for us makes life that little bit easier.

Next up were my nemeses: BMI nutrition and exercise! All major factors in diabetes care and all can become confusing, frustrating and sometimes de motivating. The BMI calculator would be first in my plan and I was shocked to see that I was only just in the 'healthy' bracket. Now I have no problems at all in telling people that I'm a size 10, I have curves, I have wobbly bits and I do the jeans dance when things get a little too tight. Seeing that I'm almost touching on 'overweight' got to me and upset me. I don't have the healthiest relationship with food and exercise at the moment, so maybe it's time to see what these apps can offer. Once again I was informed, educated, supported and pleasantly surprised!

What I would suggest is that you give them a try for yourselves, don't just take my word for it because these tools do have something to offer to everyone. My results were accurate and reflected on my lifestyle, and information and tips were given tailored to my specific results and needs. There is no purchase necessary, all you will need is 5 minutes here and there at a time that suits you! The beauty of the internet is that you don't owe it anything, but it will work around you. You don't need to show it commitment and it fills that gap between check ups. I hope that Bupa continue to build on this campaign because I think it could really contribute towards me getting back on track with my diabetes and my health in general.



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