Fitpuli data analysis: Does social distancing work?

Admin • 2020.03.20

The novel coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally altered daily life worldwide. Although Fitpuli as a digital corporate health program was not designed for acute health emergencies, rather for long-term health improvement, we were curious whether the recent data we tracked could indicate any tendency towards infection prevention.

 

 

We at Fitpuli believe in evidence-based health promotion. We build our program on high medical standards and our main goal is to generate long-term health benefits in a workplace environment. Fitpuli users can improve their lifestyle step-by-step with our 6-pillar model while we also help to effectively manage existing chronic conditions.

Physical activity is a key part of lifestyle and an effective component in the early prevention of chronic diseases. With the Fitpuli app, we track several activity parameters automatically and a video-based challenge is also available within the application.

We have already blogged about the effects of social distancing on the coronavirus spread. The model presented in that post demonstrates that lowering personal interactions leads to a more effective fight against the virus. In other words, the most important goal at the moment is to flatten the curve: to keep the healthcare system alive and reduce the pressure caused by such extremely large numbers of seriously ill patients, for whom there is not enough capacity to be treated at the same time.

In Hungary, as the number of COVID-19 patients has increased, governmental provisions have also been put in place to prevent the coronavirus spread through social distancing. Accordingly to these rulings, we have checked our Fitpuli database and looked for the most common activity parameter: the daily step count. The graph below shows the average daily step count of our users in recent weeks.

 

 

It can be seen that the average activity based on the number of steps on a typical Sunday is much lower compared to the weekdays and Saturdays before the governmental measures. (Only users with a daily step count of more than 0 are included in the analysis.)

Although Fitpuli’s data on this pandemic are for indicative purposes only, and very little data is available for the period after the governmental measures, we are really optimistic about the following:

  • Data for weekdays after March 16, 2020, is more in the range of typical Sundays rather than weekdays before.
  • This is probably due to the fact that our partner companies have started home office for most of their employees.
  • And perhaps we are seeing a sign that our users are using social distancing and contributing to the success of the fight against the pandemic.

We are very happy with the results of our quick survey, and we can only encourage everybody: Please go on! It is extremely important now to adhere to these strict measures in order to prevent avoidable health damages and reduce the number of deaths!

(Obviously, we also have to discuss the limitations of our survey: it is based on Hungarian data, Fitpuli users are not a representative sample, and the duration of data collection is not sufficient to draw long-term conclusions. )

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