From sports medicine to an app that pushes individuals to be active in the workplace

10 March 2017

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Backed by the Department of Health, with funding through the Small Business Research Initiative, its aim is to encourage office workers and commuters to sign up. 

Alan Batterham, Professor in Exercise Science at Teesside University and a Fellow of the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), is on the StepJockey advisory board. 

As an expert in measurement and evaluation issues associated with physical activity, exercise and their health outcomes, he has been helping StepJockey evaluate the algorithm for calorie-burn in stair climbing. 

Professor Batterham said: 'StepJockey helps individuals to build vigorous physical activity into their daily routine and is an excellent, time-efficient way to increase fitness and control weight. 'Stair climbing is also a surprisingly powerful form of exercise and has benefits that go beyond weight control. It reduces the risk of chronic diseases including cardiovascular disease, diabetes, osteoporosis, and breast and colon cancers.' 

Once signed up online to the free StepJockey website, participants can enter details relating to the number of stairs in the office or building where they work. The website then calculates the number of calories used each time they climb the stairs in the building. Buildings can also be signed up to the scheme, with the introduction of StepJockey smart sign scan points by the stairwell on each floor to enable climbers to log their stair count. 

Teesside University researchers are carrying out a validation of the stair climbing equation used in the StepJockey project to allow users to accurately record and ‘gamify’ their stair climbing.

In trials involving more than 250,000 journeys involving stairs and lifts, stair climbing rose by up to 29 percent when the building was equipped with StepJockey smart signs. And when office workers were able to track and gamify their stair climbing, stair use jumped by over 500 percent.

 Author: Teeside University about StepJockey - AXA PPP Health Tech & You 2016 finalist