HOLISTIC HEALTH: INSTANT VS. DELAYED GRATIFICATION

  ©Nike

©Nike

Exercise improves many dangerous metabolic, cardiovascular and respiratory conditions and has consequently a favorable impact on mortality. However, in a society where the lifestyle becomes increasingly sedentary, physicians struggle to convince their patients to exercise more. Connected devices and mobile applications combine motivational programs with objective measurements of activity level. In the 2015 IMS report about patient adoption of mobile health, Barbara Spurrier of Mayo Clinic said that “we are trying to integrate mobile health into the lives of people and patients to help empower them in self-management and have the peace of mind to know when to take action”.  

In today’s world, where time is precious, people spend most of the day shuttling between various tasks and tend to ignore their health and fitness. Even worse, through the rise and success of social media, today, people measure their gratification through the immediate social approval of friends’ and followers’ digital likes, comments and shares, rather than their physical happiness, joy and pleasure. In fact, Facebook's North America Head of Marketing, Michelle Klein says that the average adult checks their phone 30 times a day, and the average millennial checks their phone more than 150 times a day. We are living in a world, where people are loosing sight of the process and the journey towards a goal, instead they are seeking its instant fulfilment and the gratification of such. This phenomenon is especially true for Generation Y, which are millennial between the age of 18 and 35 years.

24/7 customer service has become the norm for online and mobile platforms, meaning that consumers no longer expect to be restricted to normal business hours to complete their to-do list. “There is the expression ’plug and play‘. Today, people don’t want the plug part. They want to get straight to play,“ says Olander, Nike’s VP of Digital Sport, in his book Velocity. Indeed, whilst instant gratification is achievable for many subjects and areas, there are still areas that require persistence and endurance, in order to accomplish a wished outcome. It is the idea of an on-going process that very much contradicts with the current trends of finding the quickest route to success. The health and fitness industry is a prime example of a business field, where time is playing a major role in conjunction with consistency and perseverance. Studies have shown that 50 per cent of people who start an exercise program will dropout within six months. Magazine covers read “12-Weeks To Your Dream Summer Body” and “10 Exercise To Loose 5 Kilos In 1 Month,” and fat burning belts or supplements promise rapid magical outcomes, but all of them forget about mentioning the process, as well as the fact that there is no one-size-fits-all model. In the end, instead of a lean body, people end up with a quick loss in motivation or dissatisfactory end results.