Personal exercise prescriptions – the key to true movement health
Updated: Sep 26, 2022
Exercise technology is on the rise, but so are musculoskeletal (MSK) health issues. There's no "one-size-fits-all" solution, but the answer to helping people move and feel better at scale could be surprisingly simple.
Fitness technology today
Health technology is evolving rapidly. Access to biometrics such as heart rate, blood oxygen saturation, HRV and sleep quality is now commonplace thanks to innovations in consumer wearables and platforms.
Yet despite the rapid pace of innovation, digital fitness and human performance technologies continue to focus on data collection and reporting. Fitness trackers have changed little over the past decade, continuing to report volume-based metrics like step, rep and set counting.
More recent innovation in biometric capture and delivery has helped us to better understand and improve what is happening inside of our bodies, and trackers do enable compliance and behaviour monitoring – but a gap remains.
The current MSK landscape
In healthcare, we keep hearing about a movement/MSK (musculoskeletal) epidemic. The general population is experiencing movement dysfunction, reporting pain and missing work days, and the trend is in the wrong direction.
Insurers are spending huge amounts on MSK-related injuries. The traditional model of treating pain after it arises has limited function. It isn’t working for the individual, and it isn’t working for the companies bearing the cost of this problem.
Fitness technologies have a high percentage rate of churn with their members. Personalization is a buzzword that is often clouded by preference-based content selection.
Forward-thinking companies incorporate technology by connecting heart rate, step and rep counters into their experiences, but even the most successful fitness technology platforms are often more focused on studio production quality rather than the specificity of the exercise content itself.
While both content quality and basic data provide value, the quality of insights is often not at the level it needs to be for long-term health improvement and engagement for the general population.
Tactical and performance
Tactical and performance-based industries often add load on top of movement dysfunction – encouraging challenging workouts without addressing underlying physical limitations.
There typically aren’t enough resources to serve the unique needs of each person who is presenting a movement limitation (unless you are a pro athlete), yet the demand to physically perform at a high level persists.
In order to really work, scalable movement prescriptions must meet the needs of large organizations looking to understand and better serve their dynamic populations.
Moving in the gap
We define movement health as a balanced interaction between mobility, stability and strength. It requires a combination of foundational movements that are unique to everyone. It’s not dependent on heart rate or step count – it’s focused more on the quality of your movement than the quantity.
A person’s movement health quality can be assessed based on how they move in relation to functional norms (in other words, the way our skeleton and muscles were designed to move). When a person is outside of functional norms, they can experience pain, discomfort, injury and that general “I don’t know how, so I won’t try” attitude.
Despite the current lack of popular understanding regarding movement health, there are simple and specific ways to address a body that is out of sync. It’s not pain medication, and it’s not a “one-size-fits all” exercise program, although these have their merits.
Step one is understanding how our bodies are actually moving. Through assessments, we can capture a baseline to get a sense of what is working well, and what isn't.
With this baseline in mind, step two is to focus on specific movements and exercises that address a person’s particular needs and bring their body into balance.
This can be the tricky part, and it's something we have spent years refining at movr – enabling exercise prescriptions catered for every individual, built within a digital "plug-and-play" style solution.
The right exercise, for the right person, at the right time can create a life-changing physical experience. Discovering the specific root cause of a movement limitation and prescribing the exercise that unlocks better feel and function can improve all movement experiences for that individual.
Such experiences can enable someone to move with full range of motion, reduce symptoms of pain, or maintain higher-quality form – something that has traditionally been confined to a practitioner/client or trainer/client experience.
We all move differently. As a result, generic exercise programming usually does not improve our movement health. But it’s simplest to broadcast, and so it has remained the normal deployment of exercise at scale.
This model does not work for the dynamic needs of any population segment. At movr, we think it’s time for a change. It is why we exist.
Where we fit in
movr was founded around the simple concept of developing a technology to enable personalized movement health prescriptions that meet the actual needs of everyday people.
Since our launch a few years ago, we have assessed the movement of thousands of people looking to improve their movement health, and prescribed specific and validated corrective exercises to help them do that.
As we continue to grow into new industries and work with leading partners, we know we’ve just scratched the surface. If implemented with accurate movement data capture, proper prescriptions can effectively serve every sector of the population.
When people with little to no exercise experience assess their movement, our technology enables them to receive recommended movements to address their lowest hanging fruit and provide a clear path forward.
For elite performers, our technology can help catch one or two areas that are not functioning as well as other segments of the body. This enables their movement programs to adapt to address the limitations so they can continue training more effectively.
And for everyone else – people who are active to various degrees yet experience the most commonly reported symptoms of poor MSK health (pain/aches/discomfort) – our assessments and prescriptions give them the means to address their issues with a practical, personal and effective approach to feeling better every day.
There is still a lot of education needed around the concept of “movement health,” but the world is ready for an approach to exercise that better addresses our bodies’ actual needs. Along with some amazing partners, we’re excited to be helping spread the word through our technology, and look forward to what’s next.
movr is an assessment-based movement health technology company. Our goal is to help measurably improve musculoskeletal health with innovative technology solutions within an ever-changing health space.
Interested in learning more? Reach out here.