We have more access to information and programs to help manage our diets and fitness than ever before, yet obesity is on the rise. By 2015, 75% of adults will be overweight and 41% will be obese. Adopting healthy behaviors can prevent obesity and associated life-threatening diseases, however, “even under the best circumstances, the relationship between our stated intentions and our […] behaviors are modest at best.”
To quickly familiarize ourselves with the fields of health and behavior, we spoke with doctors, physical trainers and other experts, and interviewed and surveyed more than sixty 20- to 35-year-olds who struggle to maintain healthy habits. We discovered several barriers to daily exercise: the perceived lack of time and motivation stood out equally among them. Synthesis of our research revealed a key opportunity area: the interstitial moments of our workday (e.g. waiting for the train or the down time between meetings). Developing concepts and prototyping led to the design of Sidekick: a service that brings fun exercises to young “on-the-go” working professionals who need that extra nudge to stay active during the day, wherever they are.
Sidekick consists of a Web and mobile platform that syncs with your calendar and to-do lists, and schedules location-aware exercises during the interstitial—underutilized—moments of your workday. Exercises are force-multiplied by a variety of inexpensive portable fitness equipment (e.g. resistance-bands and yoga balls) making workouts fun and convenient. Finally, Sidekick increases the health of employees and office morale while reducing employer’s insurance premiums.