Faisal Al Bannai, axiom CEO
Tech-savvy smartphone users in the Middle East are using their devices to support their health and fitness goals in a range of ways, as the number of apps available on the market explodes, according to axiom, a leading telecoms retailer in the region.
Getting fit and healthy no longer requires filling out a workout log in pen or buying a bulky diet book. A host of apps available on the market now can aid your health goals with interactive features, instant data and advice, and feedback on your progress.
According to market researcher Flurry Analytics overall health and fitness app usage grew 62 percent in the first half of this year, almost twice as fast as the 33 percent increase for the overall market. The Middle East, which has one of the highest rates of smartphone penetration in the world, is at the forefront of this trend.
“Having a smartphone now means having a personal trainer or a dietician right there in your pocket, giving you access to the latest in healthcare and fitness trends wherever you are,” said Faisal Al Bannai, axiom CEO. “The range of apps available on the market today – including a huge range of free apps – means none of us have any excuses any longer for not doing that workout or starting that diet. With the use of smartphones being so widespread here in the region we are very much at the forefront of the health and fitness trend in their usage.”
The Middle East has one of the highest rates of mobile penetration in the world. The number of mobile subscriptions in the MEA region will grow from 1.2 billion in 2013 to 1.9 billion in 2019, with 50 percent of handsets being smartphones, according to the Ericsson Mobility Report.
Popular apps on the market include Fitbit, which can be used on its own or with the company’s smart wristbands to track your activity and training, and the Calorie Counter from MyFitnessPal, which lets you track your diet in a simple and easy way. Apps can also take a more fun approach to training – Zombies, Run! turns your daily jog into a chase with zombies, providing a narrative while tracking your stats.
As well as fitness and weight loss, there are a host of apps available that provide more general healthcare support, including apps provided by government. In the UAE, Dubai Health Authority’s free app allows you to perform services such as finding a doctor and booking an appointment, and can help you calculate your body mass index.
“Smartphone users now have unprecedented access to the best health information and medical advice right at their fingertips,” Al Bannai said. “As we look at taking care of ourselves better and taking more responsibility for our health, smartphones are a vital component of our healthcare preparations.”