Fitness app downloaded one million times during lockdown

Hundreds of thousands of people looking to get into shape during lockdown downloaded an app that is backed by the NHS.

Over the last 3 months, the “Couch to 5k” app was downloaded a record number of times. The app was created by Public health England, and the increase of downloads from March until June was 92% more than last year during the same time.

The Couch to 5k app helps beginners with a running plan to become healthier and make better health choices. The app provides advice from a coach and helps with tracking progress and encouraging users to take three runs per week.

According to recent studies, there is a definite link between obesity and covid, and 60% of covid-related deaths covid being overweight people. Leaders in the NHS have said that apps like these could make an even bigger impact on helping more people lead healthier lifestyle choices.

Obesity is one of the leading causes of health problems in the UK, and 876,000 obesity-related hospital admissions were recorded last year alone.

Dr Nikki Kanani, England’s top GP, has been running 5k with her two children during lockdown and says that is has benefited her own wellbeing tremendously.

Dr Nikki Kanani, NHS national director for primary care, said: “Lockdown has been a difficult time for so many of us and with millions of people working in new ways and not doing the activities they usually would, we know that it can be much harder to get motivated to get up and go.

“It is incredible to see that practical tools like Couch to 5k have become even more popular over the last three months – keep going if you’ve started and download the app if you want to increase your activity levels. It won’t be the right solution for everyone, but it’s a simple way to begin and small steps can make a massive difference to your health and your lifestyle.

“We have all coped differently during lockdown, and for me, running and taking some time out to exercise with my children has been really important for me – we’ve seen huge benefits physically, mentally and for our general wellbeing.”

Rosanna O’Connor, Acting Director, Health Improvement at Public Health England said: 

“Lockdown has been challenging for us all but it’s hugely positive to see so many people using this opportunity to get more active and using Public Health England’s app, part of its Couch to 5k campaign. Keeping active is not only good for our physical health but also crucially at this time helping us look after our mental health. And staying fit and healthy means we’re also playing our part in supporting the NHS.”

As part of the NHS Long Term Plan, a plan was put into place to tackle the type 2 diabetes and rising obesity pandemics. The fact that the App has been downloaded so many times during the last few months, shows promising results that the war against obesity and the various related health issues is making ground.

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