Fitbit and Diabetes UK announce three-year partnership

Fitbit and Diabetes UK Collaborate to Help Tackle Diabetes

Partnership aims to help people lead healthier and more active lives, supporting initiatives such as the One Million Step Challenge

Fitbit and Diabetes UK, the leading charity for people affected by diabetes, today announced a new three-year partnership. Together they will work to educate Brits on the importance of understanding their own health and how leading a healthier and more active lifestyle can play a critical role in the prevention of type 2 diabetes and management of all types of diabetes. The organisations will collaborate on a series of initiatives throughout 2021 and the coming years to encourage healthy behaviour change, including the One Million Step Challenge, to encourage participants to move more.

In the UK, more than 3.5 million people have been diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, which accounts for 90% of all diabetes diagnoses nationally.[1] With the numbers expected to rise to over 5 million by 2030, the two organisations’ shared mission could not come at a more important time - as more than half of all cases of type 2 diabetes could be prevented or delayed through adopting healthy lifestyle changes such as eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy weight.[2]

To encourage those who are currently living with type 1 or type 2 diabetes or are at risk of developing type 2 diabetes to take action to build these types of healthy habits, Fitbit will support the One Million Step Challenge which takes place in July. The challenge aims to encourage participants throughout the country to step-up their activity and take at least 10,000 steps a day to reach a one million step target at the end of the three-month challenge period. The partnership will also recruit volunteers, to share their stories and showcase how adopting a healthier and more active lifestyle can help reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes or help minimise the impact of living with any type of diabetes.

Chris Askew OBE, Chief Executive at Diabetes UK, said: "We’re really pleased to announce the launch today of a new partnership between Diabetes UK and Fitbit. Diabetes is, and always has been, a very serious health condition; a fact which has only been highlighted further by COVID-19. We hope, together with Fitbit, that this partnership will help raise awareness of the seriousness of diabetes and will emphasise the importance of physical activity - both in reducing the risk of developing type 2 diabetes, and in good management of all types of diabetes.

"We believe Fitbit is the perfect partner to our programmes supporting people with, and at risk of type 2 diabetes, to be active and to live healthier lives. Together, we hope to affect real change in the fight against all types of diabetes and we are very much looking forward to getting started."

As we live through these unprecedented times, it has been shown that the coronavirus pandemic has caused consumer stress and anxiety levels to increase[3], which along with age, ethnicity, weight and genetics, is a known risk factor for the development of type 2 diabetes[4]. Further data has also shown that people with diabetes, are considered more vulnerable to the impact of COVID-19[5], therefore the importance of focussing on positive lifestyle choices to reduce their risk of developing or minimizing the impact of the condition has become even more vital.

Nicola Maxwell, Director of Fitbit Health Solutions in EMEA, said, “The current pandemic has shown us that understanding your health, and adopting healthy lifestyle changes, is more important than ever. Fitbit helps people to identify and track changes in their individual well-being and then manage their health more effectively. For example, new metrics like oxygen saturation (SpO2) trends[6] can help provide a good understanding of your overall health and fitness. Tracking these trends, along with breathing and heart rate, and Fitbit’s sleep and stress management tools, can enable you to better understand your health and wellbeing. With most research illustrating the positive effect a healthy lifestyle can have on people at risk of developing diabetes and individuals with a type 1 and type 2 diagnosis, we are proud to work together with Diabetes UK to help raise awareness and help motivate Fitbit users to set goals and adopt healthy lifestyle changes.”

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