Thursday, 30 June 2016 12:30

Fitbit hearts good foundations so you get ‘FitForGood’

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If you want to be fit, building a solidly hearty foundation is a good idea, so Fitbit and the Heart Foundation have started a new charity: FitForGood.

Fitbit is normally all about the smartest of smart fitness devices, whether it’s the watch-like Blaze or the bracelet like Aria, through to the original models that are still very popular and ever more affordable.

However, the concept of "corporate social responsibility" is one that is rightfully still very strong in the world, and so it is great to see a slightly different story from Fitbit that still, thankfully, involves fitness.

What has happened is that Fitbit and the Heart Foundation are launching an exciting charity initiative, FitForGood, in 10 days time (as we go to press).

Both organisations say that "the charitable platform encourages anyone with a Fitbit account to get fit for a good cause in support of better heart health for all Australians".

We are told that "those who sign up will have their steps contributed towards a collective two billion step goal and if this target is met, Fitbit will make a $100,000 donation to the Heart Foundation".

In addition, the Heart Foundation is "aiming to raise $400,000 through donations to help educate the public about heart disease", which sadly kills one Australian every 27 minutes.

The initiative is also being promoted by Australian cricket captain and Fitbit ambassador Steve Smith, who will naturally encourage Australians to move more for better heart health and join the FitForGood Challenge to reach that two billion steps goal.

Steve Morley, vice-president and general manager, Fitbit Asia Pacific, said: “The Heart Foundation plays a critical role in educating on the connection between a more active lifestyle and good heart health, which closely aligns with our mission to give people tools that will empower them to be more proactive about their overall health and wellness.

“FitForGood can show Australians how even small changes can contribute to big results, as they take steps to not only improve their own health, but also to help the Heart Foundation towards their goal of reducing the incidence of heart disease across the nation.”

Professor Garry Jennings, The Heart Foundation’s chief medical advisor, said new research has found that simply increasing your daily number of steps can reduce your risk of mortality.

“FitForGood helps encourage physical activity and supports our critical work to reduce the risk of heart disease for all Australians. Even doing an additional 2000 steps a day can reduce your risk of having a heart attack as well as key risk factors – including high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes and obesity,” said Jennings.

Anyone in Australia with a Fitbit account can sign up and opt in. Australians who do not have a Fitbit device are invited to participate by using MobileTrack on the free Fitbit app for their Android, iOS or Windows device. In addition, anyone without a Fitbit device will be given the option to purchase one during the sign-up process.

How FitForGood works

From 11 – 25 July, anyone with a free Fitbit account in Australia can participate in the challenge and contribute their steps towards achieving the two billion steps and up to $100,000 donation target.

In addition, those who join the challenge can set up their own fundraising goal via the EveryDay Hero link in the FitForGood portal to help support the Heart Foundation. In support of the campaign, the Heart Foundation is aiming to raise an additional $400,000 through donations.

To join, Fitbit users can register for FitForGood today here.

More below, please read on!

Fitbit FitForGood

Walk to take control of your heart health

While most people are aware of the benefits of being more active, exercising more, eating smarter, sleeping better and managing their weight, these activities can be viewed as time-consuming and difficult to achieve.

Fitbit advises that it "combines the power of technology and insights, and helps people see how small changes can add up to big results. By tracking activity level, sleep and nutrition, users can have a positive impact on their health and well-being which may also benefit those living with chronic diseases".

Registrations are now open and from 11 July you can donate your steps to the Heart Foundation.

The Heart Foundation advises:

  • More than 55,000 Australians will suffer a heart attack every year.
  • Heart disease is primarily responsible for the death of more than 20,000 Australians a year – these deaths are largely preventable.
  • Physical inactivity causes more than 9600 deaths in Australia each year.
  • Two out of three (66.2%) Australians aged 18 and over are either sedentary or have low levels of exercise.
  • A sedentary person who increased his or her steps from 1000 to 10,000 a day, seven days a week, was found to have a 46% lower risk of death.

So remember, there are two ways to get involved:

1. Sign up below and “donate” your steps. If the FitForGood community reaches two billion steps, Fitbit will donate $100,000 to the Heart Foundation.

2. Get friends and family involved. They can donate in support of you and help raise up to $400,000 for the Heart Foundation.

The campaign kicks off on 11 July and will go through 25 July, 2016 so join FitForGood and get fit for a good cause!

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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