People urged to take control of health

New app encourages positive lifestyle changes
  • Deborah Condon

Just 34% of adults in Ireland undertake more than three-and-a-half hours of exercise per week, with 13% of adults admitting to doing no exercise at all, new research has found.

The findings were based on preliminary information from a new app, MyLife, which aims to empower people to take control of their own health.

The app gives you an overall health score, which is based on physical, emotional and lifestyle factors, and is underpinned by scientific research. It then encourages the individual to make positive lifestyle changes to improve this health score.

The research based on the app's preliminary findings found that 45% of people have suffered from a serious medical condition in the last 12 months, while 21% have experienced stress or depression.

Meanwhile, smoking is a still a big concern, with 20% of adults smoking an average of 12 cigarettes per day.

"Many medical conditions result from poor lifestyle choices including inactivity, smoking, inadequate sleep and excessive alcohol consumption. The unique MyLife app monitors lifestyle changes, such as increasing physical activity, to show the individual just how impactful these small actions are on their health score.

"Empowering and enabling the individual creates an engaged patient, which is a positive move in the right direction. In short - those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find the time for illness," commented Prof Niall Moyna of the Centre for Preventive Medicine at Dublin City University.

He emphasised that we are now living in an era of healthcare where the role of the patient has evolved, 'empowered by the rapid adoption of digital health technologies'.

"It's well known that individuals who take charge of their health and actively participate in decisions about healthcare delivery have better health outcomes.

"MyLife provides individuals with the opportunity to take a more proactive and preventive approach to healthcare, enabling people to understand potential health risks and adjust their lifestyle accordingly before problems arise," Prof Moyna said.

The app, which was launched by Irish Life, calculates your health score - a scientifically calculated number from 1 (low) to 1,000 (high). The more information you enter, the more accurate your health score will be.

It is free to download on all Apple and android devices from the App Store or Google Play Store.

*Pictured at the launch of the MyLife app are (L-R) Dr Sarah Kelly, broadcaster Kathryn Thomas, Professor Niall Moyna and Olympic athlete, Thomas Barr.


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