Twitter as a platform for keeping fit

October 5th, 2008

I have been thinking a lot about Twitter and the communications channel it provides.

A few points:

  • Captive audience (9 – 5 office audience)
  • Short, sharp, snappy messages
  • Low interaction cost
  • Anonymity & transparency (for those who operate under their name)
  • High authenticity

So what services would then bode well under these conditions? Quite a lot, Competitions, Market Research, News…here’s one I have been chewing on:

Fitness Plan

Offer a free fitness plan, where you have a trainer, throughout the week putting out exercises you can do in your office (or from your desk).  

Imagine engaging several hundred local people to do the same exercise at the same time and report back (kind of flashmobbing but in the office).  

Keeping fit is a big problem for office workers.  You can then engage with the audience and help them keep fit.  

Monetisation models are numerous: upselling, selling gear, consultations, build a community, sponsorship. 

Take it further, exercises to reduce Occupational Overuse Syndrome (oos), dietary?

Oh and you can use it as a feedback tool to find out immediately the difficulties your market are having and help them. (Help me help you)

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6 Responses to “Twitter as a platform for keeping fit”

  1. xurizaemon Says:

    it sounds like a LAN game of “Simon Says” 🙂

    love it. i will target my competition, and then during critical peak hours instruct their technical teams to rise (ye zombies) from ye desks and engage in injurious activities. destruction shall ensue.

  2. James Says:

    Cool idea – When I was in the Silicon Welly office last time I was in Wellington Tim Norton from Plan HQ and The Naked Trainer would spontaneously call for a “gimmie 20” and everyone would get down and do 40 sit-ups or 20 press ups.

    Its really cool, bonding the office, breaking up the day and is fun.

    Then there was that whole success in Australia of companies doing that fitness competition – changing some people’s lives.

    The Naked Trainer is a cool concept – people can set goals and others can copy them, encourage etc – definitely check it out.

    Conclusion: needs to be on twitter

  3. Stephen Knightly Says:

    This isn’t a hundred miles away from what Healthphone are doing with their Healthphone Messaging Engine – a platform to deliver personalised programmes of content, via various media, allowing for different programme phases, interactivity and feedback (

    One application of it is the Quit Group’s Txt2Quit ( It’s txt message based, messages change as you get closer to your nominated ‘Quit Date’ and there is feedback if you relapse. The key thing is that it’s based on a clinically proven smoking cessation programme. But, as Ben points out, it’s not hard to brainstorm other applications.
    Disclaimer: Heatlhphone is a client.

  4. Ben Young Says:

    @Stephen Thanks for that, with twitter there is an existing community, to discuss with immediately, get feedback, complain with. I would suggest thaats where the txt2quit falls short, whose there to prop you up when its tough? on Twitter (or other community platform such as AliveWorld) others may be experiencing the same problem.

  5. Stephen Knightly Says:

    Yes, twitter has an existing community. But there is a technology community, and user community.

    Twitter has an existing technology-user community, but you’d have to recruit users interested in fitness or smoking.
    Txt2Quit (or other health agencies or gyms) has an existing user community, but has to convert them to technology users.

    Which way to start? My money is on the actual market (the user community) plus a very easy to adopt technology (and texting is ahead of Twitter there).

    However – you’re right about the benefit of community, especially when aiming for behaviour change (going to the gym or quitting smoking). Twitter is good at that. Txt2Quit/Healthphone Messaging Engine has interactive txt polls so you get the sense that you’re “not in it alone.” Plus txt responses for relapses, and supported by an 0800 line.

  6. Ben Young Says:

    @Stephen Your right there are different layers, Twitter would provide a cost effective mechanism as a testing ground (or sandbox).

    Txt2Quit could translate these ideas to their platform. If your interested in this field should also check out

    Would you participate in this if it was on Twitter? I’ve had an email which suggests someone may be doing just this idea.

    Simon Young (@audaciousgloop on twitter) coined the term Twitness so there’s a name if you want to run with it.

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