Helping Organisations Stay Fit and Healthy During a Pandemic

Fitness Drum app

Robert Turp, Geography, 2011, Grizedale, has helped develop and launch a new employee fitness app, focusing on at-home movement routines to encourage healthy habits and physical exercise for organisations adapting to remote working.  

“Studying geography at Lancaster sparked a deep interest in international travel. Learning about different cultures and global challenges was something I always enjoyed about the course. Shortly after graduation, I was extremely fortunate to do some travelling and I ended up getting offered a job in Fiji, which involved working directly alongside the Ministry of Health to provide unique projects in the South Pacific. My degree definitely helped in terms of preparing me for the type of work involved. It was during this time I really fell in love with community health management (which was closely linked to my original dissertation back at Lancaster.)

Sports coaching and exercise were an integral part to the projects, helping improve both the physical and mental health of local communities. Making fitness fun and engaging was a top priority. Fitness challenges became an effective way to get participants excited and passionate about physical exercise.

“When the pandemic hit, I was back in the UK and I thought I could combine my background in creating these exercise challenges with my existing job of running a tech agency to create an app that offered virtual fitness challenges – and subsequently fitness drum was born.”

As we were developing the platform, we noticed it was the average office worker, who was trying to adjust to working from home, that was struggling to get enough movement and exercise in during the day. With the gyms closed and the daily commute gone, I was one of those office workers that all of sudden noticed that I was barely moving during the day!

Combining virtual fitness challenges, daily habit checklists and 5-minute daily movement routines (along with in-app coaching), the app was designed to create healthy habits and make keeping fit in uncertain times that little bit easier. It’s exciting to see users from so many countries now log in and follow along to new challenges each month.

A lot of the skills I learned at Lancaster, such as statistical modelling and data analysis, really set the foundation for developing virtual exercise programmes. The overall aim is to go full circle and eventually release a free platform that rural communities around the world can use, providing structured physical exercise programmes and coaching for anyone.”

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