Monday, 2 March 2009

Gym 2.0 - Motivating Sedentary Users

Ann has been going to various gyms on-and-off for a number of years now. Her favourite equipment is the exercise bike; she finds it easier to read Grazia magazine. She doesn’t really like classes, and avoids the instructors because they’re quite toned and much thinner than she is, so tends to sit on the bike and read her magazine.

She likes going to the gym, but she never seems to get any results, which is why it’s been an on-and-off relationship. Until now…

This January, she was attracted to the New Year New You offer at a new local club. Deb, the (toned, thin) instructor showed her round all the cardio equipment and explained a new system for recording her exercise. Instead of giving her a program card (which Ann had previously ignored), Deb said she could use any of the cardio equipment for as long as she wanted, and get a printout or e-mail of how many calories she burned.

Ann goes straight for her comfort zone, spending 30 minutes on the exercise bike with her magazine. As she leaves, she gets a printout showing that she’s burned 120 Calories. This doesn’t mean much to Ann until she goes to buy her sandwich on the way back to the office, and finds that her normal post gym Tuna Mayo Baguette has 535 calories in it! She opts for a Chicken Fajita Wrap instead at 263 calories.

On her next visit, she spends 15 minutes on the stepper, and pedals a little faster on the exercise bike for a further 15 minutes. Her printout shows 140 cals on the stepper & 110 on the bike, and 250 cals total burned, which feels like a better balance for her lunchtime fajita wrap.

Now it’s March, she only spends 5 minutes on the bike at the beginning & end of her 40 minute workout, with 10 minutes each on the stepper, rowing machine and elliptical trainer. She regularly burns over 400 calories, and never has mayo in her sandwich. Next she wants to try the treadmill, or perhaps even a group class, as Deb says they count even more towards results, and towards the monthly graph that she receives by e-mail.

a follow up from Harbinger Scenario - Gym 2.0

Disclaimer – it is not the intention of this blog entry to balance “calories out” with “calories in”, but rather to raise awareness of possible applications of technology and motivation of the more sedentary gym user.