STATE of the art technology designed to track fitness progress was trialled by residents at a North East retirement village when they took up a series of health challenges.
Eighteen residents at Middleton Hall Retirement Village, near Darlington, took part in walking, cycling and aqua walking challenges while using an innovative mobile app developed by London-based de Salve, owned by entrepreneurs Dr Dylan Jenkins and Neil Bunting.
The event was part of Move Week, a European wide initiative to promote the benefits of being active. Each of the residents were allocated wristbands registered to them with a unique ID so that when the band was swiped on a phone, it logged their progress and a table of results could be produced.
Using the same technology as contactless credit cards, it meant the residents could track their achievements throughout the day. The technology has already been widely piloted in schools across the UK but Middleton Hall thought it would also be great for their residents.
Neil, a director at de Salve, said: “It’s about finding a way to motivate people who may not necessarily be into sport and getting them active. Working with the residents has been about teamwork and the social aspect of supporting each other. It’s been a fantastic day with great results.”
The event tied in with Middleton Hall’s Living Well philosophy, which encourages residents to enjoy maximum health and wellbeing.
Resident Eileen Davey, 81, who had not been in the pool for 12 months due to a hip operation, won a prize for best effort. She found herself walking two miles around the grounds followed by swimming in the pool.
Afterwards she said proudly: “The challenge got me back in the pool and I’m planning to go swimming regularly in the spa pool from now on. I was completely shocked to get a prize but I’m thrilled.”
Fellow resident and overall winner, Audrey Perry, 85, said: “The great thing was being able to walk at my own pace. You can do as much or as little as you can. I’m very competitive and felt better than ever afterwards.”
The day ended with a drinks reception and prize presentation by Middleton Hall’s managing director, Jeremy Walford, director Lesley Henderson and Neil Bunting.
Jeremy Walford said: “It was a really interesting experiment in that every single person did more than they normally would when they used the technology, and there was a sense that they were competing with themselves.
“The residents loved tracking their progress and they were also keen to encourage and support each other.”