Technology for promoting health and well-being - experiences from entrepreneurs' workshop
There are a lot of technological solutions available to promote health and well-being. For instance, there are mobile apps that will help you to create exercise programs, follow-up your sleep, keep a food diary or practice distance yoga. Various activity bracelets, smart rings and other devices that perform physiological measurement have become common.
The technology offers a wide range of opportunities, but are these useful? Will the equipment be left in boxes after a few weeks? In this blog post, we have gathered our experiences from the first well-being workshop.
One of the EntreFox project workshop types is well-being workshops, where the aim is to provide tips to promote the participants’ health and well-being. A big part of workshops is a sense of community and working together, but technology is also used in many ways.
Eleven entrepreneurs over 55 years of age have attended our first well-being workshops. All participants had the opportunity to borrow an activity bracelet for 6 months. Besides, they got to participate in fitness tests and Firstbeat-analysis, which measures the body’s recovery. We also introduced a variety of mobile apps that could be utilized to support well-being.
Not all participants had a positive attitude towards technological solutions in the first workshop. The technology was not seen as something that would increase well-being. Apps and other self-following devices were considered slightly redundant. Fortunately, curiosity prevailed, and almost all participants wanted to try activity bracelets and Firstbeat-analysis, as well as join online meetings.
In the beginning, the biggest problem was the underestimation of the need for training and orientation in the workshops. There were plenty of technical issues that also slowed down the start of activities. Organizing online meetings was also challenging and we should have trained the participants on the use of the online platform.
One of the needs that emerged during the workshops was a need for community. The group discussion was always very lively, and the participants were happy to share their experiences and listen to each other’s ideas and goals for improving well-being. Online meetings were challenging at first, but in the end, they, too, began to run smoothly. In addition to technical problems, the idea of online meeting replacing a traditional face-to-face meeting seemed strange to participants who have never been to the online meeting before. However, after a few successful times, there was a demand for more.
Firstbeat-analysis was probably the most popular technology-assisted activity. Participants thought that awareness of their recovery was a very eye-opening experience. Participants have even characterized the results of the analysis as life-revolutionizing. Participants had received a variety of insights, for example, about their sleep. Discussing the results in the group was also very rewarding.
To summarize, the use of technology to promote well-being in our workshops was limited by:
- Initial negative attitudes towards technology
- Insufficient technical skills
- Problems with technological solutions and negative experiences that followed
On the other hand, things that contributed to the use of technology were:
- Curiosity and group encouragement
- Adequate guidance and practice
- Positive experiences with measurement devices
In our next workshops, we will focus on adequate guidance and support for the use of devices, as well as try to yo further develop electronic communication. Technology is not a magic tool to promote your health and well-being, but it can be very helpful.
Reetta Raitoharju ja Katja Heikkinen