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Phones Become A Lockdown Lifeline But Are They Making Us ‘Appy?

Multiple apps are fighting for our attention and our phone memory. The average Brit has over 40 apps on their phone yet 85% go unused, according to new research by WW – Weight Watchers reimagined, with messy apps becoming a source of anxiety and general ‘un-app-iness’.

The WW research was carried out as part of the launch of the new 5-in-1 app, myWW+ which supports members with their wellness goals this winter and beyond.

It revealed that more than a third of people (34%) feel stress when their mobile phone is messy from too many apps, rising to over half (51%) of those under 44.

A third (32%) of people admit to feeling frustrated by phone admin with 36% having to delete apps because their device is full.

Over a third (34%) of people believe they have too many apps on their phones with 31% of people saying they have multiple apps that do the same thing, rising to half (50%) of all under 44s.

The same research shows the rise in health and wellness app uptake has accelerated; one third of Brits (29%) are more likely to download a wellness app now than this time last year driven by lockdown measures and over half of Brits (56%) now have a health and wellness app on their phone, engaging with it daily (75%). 30% of Brits want to ‘be a healthier person’ after the lockdowns of 2020, and they have turned to tech to help them with their wellness journey.

The new myWW+ app from WW acts as five apps in one, providing members with all the tools they need to manage their weight, mental health and fitness; monitor hydration and sleep; as well as inspire healthy food choices.

In addition to being in one place, the five apps are connected to help users with their overall health and wellness journey as well as saving them space, hassle and costs.

Anna Hill, SVP, General Manager at WW UK said:

“People feel many frustrations about their increasing reliance on and connection to their phones, but this research shows the potential mobile technology has to support people’s wellbeing, now more than ever and we’re encouraged that people are recognising the benefits.

We designed myWW+ to be five apps in one, for a less cluttered, more hassle-free and cost-effective app experience.

We know members who use our app regularly as well as attending workshops lose three times more weight than those who don’t use our tools, so upteching in the right way can bring real positive benefits.”

A quarter (23%) of health focussed Brits are more reliant on their phone to keep them active than ever before, with one in five (20%) having three or more health and wellness apps on their phone already.

An additional source of un-app-iness is wasted money. Almost a third (30%) of Brits have paid for mobile apps or subscriptions they don’t use, with over half (51%) of under 44s admitting to losing money this way.

On average we each waste £2 per month on apps or subscriptions we don’t use, meaning as a nation we are throwing away over £100 million per month.

Ortis Deley, Presenter of Channel 5’s The Gadget Show said: “This research by WW shows just how important our phones and our apps are to us – one in ten of us (10%) has more than 80 apps on our phone!

But app usage should be about quality over quantity, ensuring you’re getting value from the space they take up on your device and that they’re right for you and what you want to get out of life.”

Katrina Hassan is a Professional Organiser and Certified KonMari™ Consultant who is passionate about digital minimalism. In response to the research she has developed ten top tips for decluttering and organising apps. Katrina says:

“I have seen a growing demand from people for help and advice on how to regain control over digital content on their phones with apps being a big frustration. Being honest about how much you use an app and what it’s purpose is in your life is the key. Ask yourself, do they all bring you joy?”

Katrina Hassan’s Top Tips

Decluttering your apps:

Assess the volume – Before and afters are a strong motivator and are evidence of progress so count how many apps you have

Discard first – Following the KonMari Method, the first step in successful organisation is to discard first and organise later

Complete your joy checks – Take the time to mindfully decide whether an app should stay or go. Be honest: have you ever used it? What purpose does this app serve in your life?

Let go with gratitude – Take a moment to remember why you downloaded it in the first place and express appreciation for what it may have brought to you
Reassess – There is no ‘perfect’ number of apps to have on your phone; what is important is that they are all serving you and helping you to live well

Organising your apps:

Consider your current app organisation – Does it work for you? Can you find everything easily? Does your home screen empower or overwhelm you when you open your phone?

Set your vision – How do you want to feel when you open your phone? Create your vision for how you want to use your phone based on the values of how you want to live your life

Colour coding your apps – This has a calming effect and helps you to use the apps intentionally so you are less likely to be swayed into using another app unnecessarily

Verb-based folders – Naming your folders with verbs such as ‘work’, ‘watch’, ‘learn’ and ‘relax’ can help you locate the app you’re looking for infinitely faster and aid productivity

Give yourself time – To enjoy your new app organisation and make adjustments if necessary – It may take a few days to get used to your new app arrangements but don’t be disheartened

myWW+ provides a more interactive and personalised app experience. It features a new Personal Assessment to pinpoint the changes that will power personal weight loss success and customised content powered by machine learning and AI that’s unique to each member.

Special features include the Weekly Check-in – a personalised, holistic view of progress where users can set a tailored action plan and weekly goal. The new What’s in Your Fridge tool gives you recipe suggestions based on the food you have on hand in your fridge.

  • The app offers the ultimate way to declutter your phone in doing the job of five apps in one:
  • Trackers: Simple ways to Log food, water, sleep, and activity, plus a barcode scanner for easy shopping
  • Recipes: Over 5,000 WW-approved recipes.
  • Fitness: Equipment-free workouts you can do anywhere at any time with Aaptiv, FitOn and live Zoom classes
  • Community: 24/7 Live Coaching from WW experts; plus a members-only network, Connect
  • Rewards: The more you move, the more you track, the more Wellness Win points you earn to unlock exciting products and experiences

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