VicHealth has launched the Healthy Living Apps Guide which reviews more than 300 smartphone apps for their effectiveness in helping people lead healthier lifestyles. These guidelines are to assist in finding the app that's right for you.
For more information, visit the Healthy Living Apps Guide.
1. Make sure the app is enjoyable to useYou will use an app more often if you find it enjoyable and engaging. It will also make it feel like less of a chore!
2. Find an app that suits your needsThere are many apps available so choose one that suits your needs. For instance, choose an app that’s suitable for your age, fitness levels or accessibility needs.
3. Choose an app supported by someone you trustNot all apps have the same quality of information. Choose an app that is made or supported by an organisation that you trust.
4. Use an app that supports what you already haveFind an app you can incorporate with equipment you already have access to. For example, if you already have a fitness tracker device, exercise equipment or access to gym facilities (such as a swimming pool), pick an app that can be used in conjunction with these. You can always upgrade or change later on.
5. Make sure the app allows you to create and modify your own goalsSetting yourself a goal will help you to build healthy habits and stick to them, such as doing more physical activity next week.
6. Choose an app that lets you track your behaviourKeeping a record of your behaviour will help you change it! For example, you can choose an app that displays the times you go on walks, on what days and at what intensity. There are many apps that let you track your behaviour.
7. Choose an app that shows you how to do an activityIf you don’t know how to perform an activity, watching it being done will help you to get started.
8. Use an app that allows you to share your progress with your friends, whether this is through social media or other users of the app communityHaving support from other people will help you achieve your goals.
9. Find an app that has notificationsLet the app remind you of when you had planned to go for a walk or eat a piece of fruit instead of that snack! This will help you build habits and stick to your plans.
10. Choose an app that rewards you when you succeedGetting a reward for doing a specific activity will help reinforce it. This could be as simple as praise and encouragement or your name appearing on a leader board.