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Lifestyle counseling and mobile application help individuals change their lifestyle habits

A Finnish StopDia study has yielded promising preliminary outcomes in lessening the danger of type 2 diabetes. Lifestyle guidance in a group and an application that supports the adoption of healthy lifestyle habits encouraged StopDia members to lessen their waist circumference and improve their dietary habits. For instance, their fruit and vegetable consumption expanded.

“Using the BitHabit application that supports the adoption of healthy lifestyles for a year, combined with group guidance improved the diets of the participants and narrowed their waist circumference. These preliminary results are promising and encourage us to continue the development and use of the model,” says Professor Timo Lakka, from the University of Eastern Finland, co-principal investigator of the StopDia study.

The reason for the BitHabit application is to automate the adoption of new habits and to create a sustainable conduct change. The application enabled the members to make healthy choices that fit them and tick them as accomplished.

The new habit might be, e.g., taking healthy snacks to eat between meals at work, so that hunger in the afternoon does not cause weariness and unhealthy choices.

“Surprisingly, the application was used more actively by the older participants. In other words, it is worthwhile to offer digital alternatives to people in an unprejudiced manner, regardless of their age,” explains Marja Harjumaa, senior scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, who is involved in the development of the application.

The investigation demonstrated that the Finnish Diabetes Risk Score (FINDRISC), the widely utilized hazard test for type 2 diabetes in the world, adequately distinguished individuals at expanded hazards without laboratory testing.

The greater part of the StopDia members with a raised FINDRISC score in the digital screening previously had a glucose metabolism issue. What’s more, 5 percent were diagnosed with beforehand undetected diabetes. The study likewise uncovered that healthcare reaches just a small proportion of individuals who might profit by preventive exercises.

The most ideal approach to contact individuals and get them engaged with the investigation was through social media and the editorial content of newspapers. Specifically, news articles with personal interviews carried immense quantities of individuals to the hazard screening website. The visibility procured through social media, then again, is for the most part subject to a charge. Regardless, to be successful, informing still requires content that the objective group finds interesting.

“Men traditionally are less interested to take part in health promotion campaigns and studies. Their participation was most effectively promoted by a word from a friend or a relative. Many men pointed out that ‘the wife urged me to come,” says Jaana Lindström, research manager and developer of the FINDRISC teB in August.

In StopDia, the data scattered in workplaces arrived at women specifically.

The StopDia study examined how to decrease the risk of type 2 diabetes, by giving individual lifestyle support, yet in addition by focusing on the living environment and at the level of society. The environment powerfully affects on decision-making and behavior. Decisions are just mostly dependent on cognizant deliberation. A lot of daily choices happen automatically—frequently unnoticed.

The StopDia at Work study planned for modifying the choice architecture of working environments to facilitate healthy dietary choices and physical activity at the workplace. This methodology, otherwise called nudging, varies from the more traditional strategies utilized for promoting wellbeing at work, for example, campaigns and sports benefits.

Primer results recommend that the consumption of vegetables, fruit and nuts during working hours among the employees of taking an interest workplaces was more noteworthy toward the end of the study contrasted with the start of the study. No difference was seen in the consumption of flavorful and sweet delicacies. Performing restoring break exercise, for example, stretching, was likewise more basic toward the end of the study.

These preliminary results of the study were published at StopDia National Seminar on 21 August.

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