Here’s an articled reposted from a Guardian piece I penned, which describes how The Ground Miles app which started as an idea from an OpenIDEO challenge sponsored by Bupa launched last week to promote walking and fight the onset of cardiovascular disease.
Nick Clegg announced recently that English supermarkets would soon begin charging 5p per plastic bag at supermarkets in an effort to reduce their environmental impact. Critics have argued that England is increasingly becoming a nanny state and that what we don’t need is another tax. But when it comes to changing behaviour, sticks aren’t always the most effective levers to use, especially when it comes to areas of personal health. Research has shown that tapping into intrinsic motivations rather than extrinsic ones is a far better strategy if you want to create lasting change on an individual but also a societal level.
This week sees the launch of a new Ground Miles campaign by Bupa and the World Heart Federation to help promote the long-term habit of walking and reduce the risk of developing cardiovascular disease. The campaign’s accompanying new Ground Miles app is part of Bupa’s goal to positively improve the health and wellbeing of millions of people worldwide. The Ground Miles app is more than an app though, it’s a collective challenge that can help people meet their health goals in a more holistic and lasting way.
The concept behind the free Ground Miles app emerged from an open innovation challenge, sponsored by Bupa, on OpenIDEO.com, a website where anyone in the world can contribute their insights and ideas to help improve big societal issues, from helping kids eat more healthily to helping those at risk of being kidnapped. The ideas are shared for anyone to explore and bring them to life.
Following the challenge, a team of multidisciplinary designers from IDEO and Bupa combined a few of the most promising ideas shared by people from all over the world and developed the Ground Miles app concept using IDEO’s human centred design process. Stina Jonsson, senior interaction designer at IDEO, explains the initial vision: “We wanted to help people who are trying think beyond exercise and, not focusing on individual metrics such as weight loss, but instead celebrating the entirety of their achievement and acknowledging progress, big and small. It is more focused on health rather than fitness.”
The Ground Miles app helps to motivate people by providing feedback with a clear pedometer and also helps the user distinguish between different walking speeds. It helps people reach goals by awarding badges and motivational cards, as well as using social triggers by, for example, enabling you to join walking groups and compare your progress with friends, and even walk to win prizes.
What I love about the Ground Miles app is its ability to track the overall number of miles walked by every user of the app as part of their global campaign to walk five million miles. Download the app for free now by searching for ‘Ground Miles’ in your Apple or Android app store to help contribute to the global goal and to help you walk more.