13 Nov, 2015 Last updated: 12 Nov, 2015

A new mobile application launches today to encourage users to get fit, feel good and also do good.

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Funded by a grant from VicHealth’s Physical Innovation Challenge, Pulseraiser, encourages users to be more active with a unique proposition - every time you run a charity is paid by your employer. 

The platform has running challenges tailored to any fitness level. Every kilometre run contributes funds to an increasing pool of donations to charity. Charities can communicate with participants in the app to thank runners for their efforts.

The novel app contains a tracker and integrates with other running platforms including: Runkeeper; MapMyRun; and Strava as well as wearable trackers including Fitbit. Runners are encouraged to share their accomplishments on social media. 

Pulseraiser was developed to address the problem that over two thirds of Australian adults to do not perform enough regular exercise to reduce risk of developing chronic disease. The health burden of physical inactivity is a global issue with costs associated with preventable obesity ballooning.

Workplace health promotion is increasingly of interest to employers with Medibank estimating that unhealthy workers cost businesses on average $1420 per person a year.

The platform is rolled out via workplaces with employers sponsoring the runs through either health and well-being programs or Corporate Social Responsibility budgets.

Pulseraiser co- founder John Emmerson says the platform creates an immediate reason to be active:

‘Most of us know we should do more exercise but life gets in the way. Pulseraiser gives permission and motivation to make time for exercise in a hectic schedule. A twenty-minute run can earn funds for a charity that will make a big difference. Our goal is for users to have fun, help good causes and develop sustainable running habits’.

A series of workplace pilots were conducted in Melbourne in June and July – the coldest Victorian winter since 1994! Nonetheless the opportunity to do good for others was a strong incentive for participants to be active and improve their own long-term health prospects. Twenty six participants with a range of fitness levels completed a total of 913km over the course of six weeks.

Nima Dennis, a 47 year old mother of two working with Ansvar Insurance, began a six week trial, having previously not run for twenty years. She ran over 100 kilometres and three months later is still running regularly. She says;

 “Raising money for a charity I care about has inspired me to start running and focus on other areas of my health. I feel better and it makes me feel happy!”

The VicHealth Innovation Challenge responds to Australians changing preferences on how they want to get active through sport and physical activity. VicHealth CEO Jerril Rechter said:

‘There is a trend towards flexible, social and less structured opportunities to exercise.

The Innovation Challenge is looking at ways that technology can be used as an enabler to be more active. Pulseraiser is a novel approach which we hope will inspire many people to go running’.

To participate visit www.pulseraiser.com

Media enquiries:

Annette Stenhouse 0416 861 732

John Emmerson, Founder of Pulseraiser, is available for interview.
Jerril Recter, CEO of VicHealth, is available for interview.
Nima Dennis is available for interview.

About Pulseraiser:

Pulseraiser is an Apple IOS mobile application built with Xamarin. The app contains a tracker and integrates with other running platforms including Runkeeper, MapMyRun, and Strava as well as wearable trackers such as Fitbit.