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ASICS Is Measuring The Effect Of Exercise On Mental Outlook
10/15/21

ASICS Is Measuring The Effect Of Exercise On Mental Outlook

Through its Mind Uplifter app, fitness retailer ASICS provides runners and other athletes with an interactive overview of the various ways exercise affects their emotional and cognitive states.

Tying fitness tracking to holistic wellness measurements is an emerging trend in health care that aims to improve overall well-being by measuring a person’s physical activity alongside the markers of their their mental outlook. By combining volumetric facial scanning technology with specially developed survey questions around mental health, the ASICS Mind Uplifter measures 10 cognitive and emotional metrics including focus, composure, confidence, alertness, contentedness, resilience, energy level, and calmness, both before and after workouts, to show the impact of exercise on how users think and feel. Users scan their face and answer the physiological survey questions before working out. Any type of exercise will count toward a mind uplift session, as long as the workout lasts for at least 20 minutes. After working out, users scan their face again and answer the same questions to receive their connected wellness results. The app uses machine learning to compare the self-reported and scanned biometric indicators from users' pre-workout and post-workout sessions, and then presents them with an interactive chart of their results for that workout. The interactive visualization shows indicators like the total “Uplift,” or overall difference between the pre-and-post scores, as well as an interactive breakdown of each self-reported cognitive and emotional marker's progression after exercise. For example, users can track emotional health indicators including if they feel calmer after a run, more confident after lifting weights, or more alert after playing tennis.

The Results from ASICS' Mind Uplifter app and associated data aim to highlight the link between daily exercise, even if just for twenty minutes, and better mental wellbeing and lifelong wellness. Six months ahead of the wider ASICS Mind Uplifter app rollout for its users, the fitness company conducted research alongside mental health and fitness experts using market-leading bioinformatics company, EMOTIV, to explore the credible health impact of sport on individuals' minds.

The mission of the Mind Uplifter initiative, and of ASICS as a company, is to measure over a million minds. The connected wellness program was launched globally on Global Running Day 2021, and the findings from both the scientifically sourced foundational research and the self-reported user data will be used by ASICS to campaign for better funding and access to sport and recreation, as well as to promote education around the importance of fitness as part of an individual's holistic health. The brand purpose of ASICS is to help “everyone achieve a sound body in a sound mind,” and in addition to running, ASICS will host a series of other sporting events across the year to encourage wider participation in the Mind Uplifter program and demonstrate the power of all sports to positively impact emotional and cognitive behaviors and mental states while supporting lifelong wellness.

On average, the study's results on connected wellness have shown that users feel a 13.4% increase in their levels of alertness, a 15.9% increase in their degree of calm, a 14.3% increase in how content they felt, a 13.3% increase in their relaxation levels, a 11.4% increase in how composed they felt, 9.7% increase in their energy levels, and a 2.9% increase in their focus levels. ASICS hopes users will voluntarily share their results on social media with the hashtag #UpliftingMinds, and the company has created an interactive chart of the global results tallied on its World Uplift Map for users to explore the different impact exercise is having across individuals around the world, from city to city and from country to country.

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This article originally appeared in PSFK's research paper, Connected Wellness Experience