Wednesday, March 12, 2014

UK Based Smartphone App Turns Stair Climbing Into a Game

Love this Step Jockey app out of London.

Apparently stairs there are being labelled with gameified with signs that can be scanned by the app which in turn keeps track of calories burned and stairs taken.

It's being backed by the UK Department of Health and NHS London via the Small Business Research Initiative (SBRI).

That said, I have two concerns.

Firstly it's an energy output app with seemingly no discussion or accounting for energy input - which may well lead individuals to feel like their few flights of daily stairs warrants rewards of dietary indulgence ("because I exercised" foods).

But the more important issue I have is that it's being promoted as a means to lose weight.

Exercise is about health, but were weight management attainable solely on the basis of taking the stairs, the world be a much slimmer place.

I'm all for exercise, but its branding needs to change from one of weight control to one of health, and institutions like the UK Department of Health and NHS London should be leading that charge, not contributing to the misinformation embraced by the food industry that our forks are out-runnable.