Rise and recharge
To help you become chair-aware, the free Rise & Recharge app — developed by Baker IDI with the support of the Vodafone Foundation — will help you spend less time stuck in the saddle and boost your energy.
Long periods of sitting (sedentary behaviour) increases our risk of developing heart disease, type 2 diabetes and some forms of cancer.
Health Professional Review
Health Professional Reviewer: Dr Catherine Smith, Lecturer at the School of Physiotherapy, Otago University.
Date reviewed: 11 January 2017
App Title: Rise and Recharge
Author(s): Baker IDI Heart and Diabetes Institute
Version and platform: 1.1.7 – Android 4 and up (also Apple)
Suitable for: People who sit for long periods (most useful for people who are seated for prolonged periods at work)
Evidence-based? Yes – the app was developed based on scientific evidence for the prevention of health conditions associated with a sedentary lifestyle/prolonged sitting.
The Rise & Recharge app ‘divides your day (and night) into half hour breaks. If you get up and move for 15 steps or so every half an hour, you are rewarded with a purple dot. 8 dots down the track and you get a purple star. Your dots then become red and after a further 8 dots, a red star. The process repeats with orange and then yellow dots and stars (a total of 32 breaks). The app counts down the minutes remaining before your next break (you can set an audio alarm) and displays motivational messages to encourage or congratulate. You can view your monthly summary and, the i- button provides comprehensive information about the app.
The idea is great. The app is simple, uncluttered and easy to download. The information provided is clear, comprehensive and easy to follow. On the days I remembered to use/carry my mobile phone, the app did make a difference to the number of short breaks I took from sitting.
I am not the most tech savvy user and experienced some frustration adjusting my phone to synchronise with the app (connecting to wifi or mobile data, downloading, enabling and synchronising Google Fit).
To make the most of this app you need to be able to carry your mobile phone around with you the whole time. I sat mine on my desk and used the visual countdown yet frequently forgot to then pick my phone up and take it with me for a walk. I recommend setting auditory alerts and keeping your phone in your pocket.
The app specifies that only 15 steps are needed to record a break, I found this varied between 5 and 50+. If the app fails to record a break (this happened several times to me) according to the app, you can record a break manually – this did not work for me despite repeated efforts.
In summary, this app is a great idea but on balance was more of a distraction than an enabler during my regular working day. To use this app successfully you need to be familiar with your phone functions, to habitually carry your mobile on your person, and to be flexible when it comes to step count.
In what context would you use the media, or in what context would you recommend members of the public to use the media?
This app is useful for people who spend most of their working day seated. To use this app successfully you need to be familiar with your phone functions, to habitually carry your mobile on your person, and to be flexible when it comes to step count. In order to use the app successfully, the individual would need to have a reasonably high level of motivation.
Are there any specific sections you would recommend?
When the app works as described, accumulating coloured dots is highly motivating.