Psychologists at Virginia Tech’s College of Science have designed a free Internet health program called ‘Guide-to-Health’. This program offers information, skills and support required to increase physical activity, eat more nutritiously, and prevent weight gain.
The ‘Guide-to-Health’ program is meant for participants who fall in the age group of 18-64 and who are also not physically active. Plus, they must have an Internet connection to access this program.
According to Richard Winett director of the university’s Center for Research in Health Behavior, “Most Americans know they would eat better and be more physically active. What most don’t know is that they don’t have to make drastic life changes to do it. Making just a few key changes can have big health benefits.”
Winnet also added that otherwise healthy adults gain about 2 pounds each year, so people who are normal weight at age 30 can become overweight or even obese by the time they are 50. The signs of inactivity and gradual weight gain show up as higher blood pressure, higher “bad” cholesterol, more body fat and a condition known as pre-diabetes.
“Left alone, these symptoms can become chronic diseases, and can shorten your life and can even make the years you have to live less enjoyable,” added Winnet.
Now, with the introduction of ‘Guide-to-Health’ program, many people can easily become aware as it aims to help people to make healthy changes a permanent lifestyle.
The Guide-to-Health program is also designed to see how well a state-of-the-art Internet program helps people reach this goal and improve their health.
“There are quite a number of Internet health programs available, but few have all the features of the program we have developed, and few have been tested to see how well they work over the long-term,” stated Winett.
After qualifying, completing initial assessments, and enrolling in the program, Guide-to-Health participants will receive a free pedometer and scale.
Individuals will then be required to access the “guide-to-Health” program online every week for around 18months. Weekly coaching takes around 10-20 minutes. Two additional assessments will be given during the project.