Blog post -
Returning Stronger Than Ever with Tech and Physical Activity
As the Evening Standard launch their London Rising campaign, Alex Zurita, Head of Sport Tech Hub, looks at how tech and physical activity can ensure the capital returns stronger than ever.
Technology has had a massive impact across all industries, transforming how we book trains, how we design buildings, how we order taxis or food and how we consume entertainment.
Technology is here to stay.
The opportunities surrounding the adoption of technology to get more people active is tantalising – particularly after the covid-19 pandemic caused such a shock right across London.
Technology came to the fore during lockdown to keep people in contact and work from home. Now it can open a new world of physical activity to those who may not have known it existed before.
By harnessing the power of technology for physical activity as we reboot and rethink how our city works, we have a real opportunity to have a widespread impact across our capital.
As an example, the NHS remains under tremendous pressure.
As the prevention agenda gathers momentum as a relief mechanism, technology plays a key role in ensuring physical activity is accessible to everyone - regardless of societal boundaries and abilities.
To grasp these opportunities, it’s imperative the sport for development and the physical activity sector fixes up, looks sharp, and proactively engages with technology.
Let’s not look at technology as a disruptive force, but as one that can supplement our mission of getting more people active and rebuilding London as a healthier and happier place.
Tackling inactivity and its cost
Despite physical activity having the ability to help prevent and manage over 20 chronic health conditions, inactive lifestyles remain one of London’s most pressing public health issues.
Inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality.
Research published last week also revealed that regular exercise reduces the chances of dying from infectious diseases such as covid-19 by more than a third.
Growth of technology usage
The rise of technology is leading to a rise of screen time but it’s important to note here that technology is not the issue but its use.
Smartphone and smart home devices ownership continues to increase so let’s positively use the increased adoption of technology as a tool to be active.
As seen over the last 12 months in particular, technology has played a part in getting people active, uniting people and support the health and wellbeing of people
Technology is helping people be active by eradicating friction, merging exercise and entertainment, provide personalised support, programmes and experiences and data to show evidence of impact.
In 2020, £368m invested in European based sports technology ventures.
At Sport Tech Hub, an innovation programme powered by London Sport we have accelerated over 31 early stage tech ventures over the last three years.
We’ve helped these ventures broker over 40 partnerships with organisation using technology to help their people be active and estimate that at least 130,000 people in London alone have benefited.
There are brilliant innovators out there ultimately building technology that can bring social change and impact, it is our role to harness that rather than remain disengaged.