How Mobile Apps Can Help Build Healthy Habits

Healthy Habits

The first mobile phone was released only 45 years ago, and since then it has evolved, grown and developed into an integral part of our everyday lives.  Now, 81% of American adults own a smartphone and spend about 86 hours per month on their device. Smartphones have become the ultimate one-stop source for everything from entertainment, social connectivity, news, and shopping. Cell phones have become ingrained in society as a necessity for both our work and personal lives.

Technology rapidly advances releasing multiple technological devices such as tablets, new smartphones, larger televisions and faster computers. With all these technological advancements, it can be easy to get lost in these digital screens and disregard our need for physical activity. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and is responsible for causing about 3.2 million deaths. About 60 to 80% of the population worldwide does not participate in enough physical activity. A majority of the American population owns a cellphone, and utilizes it daily, yet they’re not finding the time to engage in physical activities because technological devices take up so much time.

Hours can pass by, and in the blink of an eye, the day is gone and there was no time for physical activities. People have become incredibly sedentary by spending an average of 12 hours sitting a day, and the use of computers, and handheld devices only encourage this. Wouldn’t it be nice to have a reminder to help you build and maintain these healthy habits? Technology holds great power to help grow healthy habits and goals if used toward our betterment.

Gamification is the use of game design elements and mechanics to help people achieve their goals. Through gamification, various organizations are promoting a fun learning culture to train new hires, facilitate recruitment, teach new languages and grow eLearning. The global gamification market is growing rapidly and is expected to reach $22 million USD by 2022.

Fourdesire, an innovative mobile design studio, brings an infusion of fun into your daily life tasks, by encouraging you to achieve and maintain your healthy habits through mobile gamification. Fourdesire offers various gamification mobile apps to help alleviate the pressure of building healthy habits and benefit your overall wellness. It’s easy to see the maintenance of healthy habits as being a chore, boring and tiring but gamification apps can shift that perspective.

Fourdesire’s Walkr app is a mobile exergame that requires video game players to engage in real-world physical exercise in order to play. There are already pedometers and fitness gadgets that help you keep track of the steps or miles, but they don’t drive motivation to new users that are trying to form the habit of walking. The Walkr app envelops you into a colorful galaxy-building game, encouraging physical activity to be able to advance further in the game.  Every step leads players to gain energy to fuel their spaceship, fly around and explore over 25 distinct and unique planets with their own alien lifeforms and ecosystems. Walkr is a galaxy adventure in your pocket that helps you stay physically active and have fun while doing it.

Another essential healthy habit to maintain is drinking sufficient water throughout the day. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 43% of adults drink less than four cups of water per day, and eight glasses of water per day is what’s recommended.

Plant Nanny is another mobile app provided by Fourdesire that encourages users to drink more water by growing various plants in the process. If users drink sufficient water and track their intake, their virtual plant will grow. Lack of water intake will lead the virtual plant to dehydrate and then “die” which will make users have to start over.  The app provides a record of water drinking history, which allows users to overview their water drinking habits at a quick glance. By taking care of a virtual plant, you’re also taking care of your body, and cultivating healthier habits.

Technology continues advancing and is ever-present in our daily lives. The impact of technology can be negative if it diminishes overall wellness and promotes a sedentary lifestyle. If technology is used as a key partner to further help the betterment of human lives, then the result will only be increasingly positive. Gamification mobile apps are one way to use technology to generate positive changes in our lives, but will only work if given the chance.

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