New type of exercise-app gets Denmark cycling

| August 11, 2016

Unique app combines automatic tracking with targeted coaching – and the whole of Denmark is cycling along. The app “Ta’ Cyklen” (Get Cycling) has been downloaded almost 14.000 times in four weeks. The goal of the app was 10.000 downloads – a goal that was reached within the first two weeks.

The campaign
IMG_7029Health issues due to inactivity are a rising issue for many developed countries, including Denmark. In Denmark recent years have shown, that especially middle-aged women are at risk for not getting enough exercise. As a result hereof, The Danish Cancer Society has launched a campaign to get more people back up on the bike.

The app functions as a personal bike-coach, and is unique in that it combines automatic tracking with a coaching tailored around the individual’s needs. This makes the app stick out from conventional campaigns, as it provides the target group with a specific tool for changing their habits.

Just two weeks after launch the app had reached its goal of 10.000 downloads, and the app is popular all over the country, not just in Denmark’s larger cities.

The technology
The app is unique in its technical combination; it automatically tracks when the user is riding a bike utilizing hardware available in newer generation of smartphones (iPhone 5S and newer), and combines this data with coaching depending on the goals of the individual. This way the actual activity of the user is measured, and the coaching tailored around the level of activity.

New Android and iPhone smartphones have a built in accelerometer, gyroscope and compass. Data from these three sensors are gathered in a motion tracking processor. This allows the processor to check whether the use is walking, running, cycling, or driving in a car or train. In other words the app can automatically track when the user is cycling without using data or constant positioning technology.

The bike coach
The idea behind the personal bike coach comes from The Danish Cancer Society and relies partly on previous experience with online stop-smoking campaigns. Surveys show that Danes are looking for personal help for cycling more on workdays. Bike lanes and paths alone, are not enough to motivate everybody – promoting a sense of personal investment is important as well.

The group behind the app
Get Cycling Denmark (Ta’ Cyklen Danmark in Danish), is a campaign aimed at getting more Danes to choose the bike, especially on the short trips under 5 km. Supporting the campaign is a strong partnership consisting of The Danish Cancer Society, Hjerteforeningen (the Danish Heart Association), Diabetesforeningen (the Danish Diabetes Association), the municipalities of Aarhus, Odense, Frederiksberg, and Middelfart. In addition DTU Transport, The Danish Cyclists’ Federation, DSB, and Movia are also partners in the campaign.

Category: Campaigns, Children, Health, Newsletters in English