Over half of Britons turn to digital fitness post-pandemic
A new survey reveals that more than half of people in Britain plan to use digital fitness to remain active once lockdown restrictions are over.
The research found that 52% of Brits are planning to use digital fitness solutions such as virtual personal trainers and home workout videos to stay fit and healthy as lockdown restrictions lift. Meanwhile 44% said they were seeking to improve their overall energy levels.
However the British Chiropractic Association (BCA), who are behind the research, have warned people to exercise in "bitesize chunks" if doing so at home, to reduce the risk of injury.
The survey, conducted with OnePoll and the BCA, investigated the lifestyle habits and wellbeing routines of 5,000 people across the UK, to understand the lasting impact of lockdown to the population’s physical health.
The study looked at areas including exercise, social interaction and workplace initiatives. Across all generations (18-65-year-olds), people are expected to continue to take a more proactive approach to staying fit and healthy, with 44% of Brits wanting to improve their overall energy levels post-lockdown. Thirty-six per cent want to generally get more movement into their day. The change in attitudes towards physical health and wellbeing is expected to continue beyond the immediate effects of the pandemic.
The number of people using their time to exercise has been rising since the beginning of the first lockdown in March 2020. Previous research conducted by OnePoll and the BCA in November 2020 revealed that half (50%) of adults set new routines for their wellbeing at the start of the first lockdown.
It also revealed that since the start of lockdown, 91% of people had stuck to their new routines. A separate study from international healthcare group Bupa UK suggests people are following new and existing routines to either maintain their mental health (66%) or lose weight (31%).
The increase in the number of people turning to digital fitness solutions to improve their physical health and wellbeing brings with it the risk of back-related exercise injuries, as a result of working out unsupervised or without proper equipment, adding to the ten million people in England and Scotland alone who already experience persistent back pain. Further research by Bupa UK revealed that 7.2 million eager exercisers have potentially already been hurt or injured during lockdown, with those doing online classes or PT sessions among the most likely to report injury.
Catherine Quinn, President of the British Chiropractic Association, commented: “Social distancing and anxiety around returning to shared spaces may keep us out of gyms and fitness classes for a while longer, so it’s encouraging that so many people are planning to either pick up or continue exercise routines at home. But it’s important that new or advanced routines are taken on safely and sensibly to avoid any home injuries.
“Our members have seen an increase in patients with injuries related to working out alone, without guidance or supervision from a personal trainer, since the beginning of the first lockdown. The good news is that incorporating a few, small habits into home exercise routines, such as building up physical activity in manageable bitesize chunks, warming up and cooling down and taking rest days, can stop any unnecessary aches or pains from preventing people from reaching their post-lockdown goals."
Check Point: Securing the future of enterprise IT
Cybersecurity solutions provider Check Point was founded in 1993 with a mission to secure ‘everything,’ and that includes the cloud. Conscious that nothing remains static in the digital world, the company prides itself on an ability to integrate new technology with its solutions. Across almost three decades in operation, Check Point, with its team of over 3,500 experts, has become adept at protecting networks, endpoints, mobile, IoT, and cloud.
“The pandemic has been somewhat of an accelerator in the evolution of cyber risk,” explains Erez Yarkoni, Global VP for Cloud Business. “We had remote workers and cloud adoption a long time beforehand, but now the volume and surface area is far greater.” Formerly a CIO for several big-name telcos before joining Check Point in 2019, Yarkoni considers the cloud to be “part of [his] heritage” and one of modern IT’s most valuable tools.
Check Point has three important ‘product families’, Quantum, CloudGuard, and Harmony, with each one providing another layer of holistic IT protection:
- Quantum: secures enterprise networks from sophisticated cyber attacks
- CloudGuard: acts as a scalable and unified cloud-native security platform for the protection of any cloud
- Harmony: protects remote users and devices from cyber threats that might compromise organisational data
However, more than just providing security, Yarkoni emphasises the need for software to be proactive and minimise the possibility of threats in the first instance. This is something Check Point assuredly delivers, “the industry recognises that preventing, not just detecting, is crucial. Check Point has one platform that gives customers the end-to-end cover they need; they don't have to go anywhere else. That level of threat prevention capability is core to our DNA and across all three product lines.”
In many ways, Check Point’s solutions’ capabilities have actually converged to meet the exact working requirements of contemporary enterprise IT. As more companies embark on their own digital transformation journeys in the wake of COVID-19, the inevitability of unforeseen threats increases, which also makes forming security-based partnerships essential. Healthcare of Ontario Pension Plan (HOOPP) sought out Check Point for this very reason when it was in the process of selecting Microsoft Azure as its cloud provider. “Let's be clear: Azure is a secure cloud, but when you operate in a cloud you need several layers of security and governance to prevent mistakes from becoming risks,” Yarkoni clarifies.
The partnership is a distinctly three-way split, with each bringing its own core expertise and competencies. More than that, Check Point, HOOPP and Microsoft are all invested in deepening their understanding of each other at an engineering and developmental level. “Both of our organisations (Check Point and Microsoft) are customer-obsessed: we look at the problem from the eyes of the customer and ask, ‘Are we creating value?’” That kind of focus is proving to be invaluable in the digital era, when the challenges and threats of tomorrow remain unpredictable. In this climate, only the best protected will survive and Check Point is standing by, ready to help.
“HOOPP is an amazing organisation,” concludes Yarkoni. “For us to be successful with a customer and be selected as a partner is actually a badge of honor. It says, ‘We passed a very intense and in-depth inspection by very smart people,’ and for me that’s the best thing about working with organisations like HOOPP.”