Loughborough University leads development of unique health app

Date posted: November 30, 2020
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Experts at Loughborough University have teamed up with the UK’s leading health and wellbeing store, Holland and Barrett, to create a unique personalised health and fitness app.

Oro, launched this autumn, is free with an optional premium subscription. It offers a varied combination of workouts and meal plans tailored to an individual’s body, goals, and cultural and lifestyle preferences.

When set up, Oro provides workouts and a nutrition plan which generates menus and a handy shopping list.

Activities are suitable for any ability – sedentary to very active – and are supported by more than 350 filmed exercises.

Meanwhile, the nutrition plan draws on over 600 recipes, created in collaboration with Michelin chefs – including Tom Kitchin, Daniel Clifford and Laurence Henry – vegan chef Gaz Oakley and the University’s Performance Nutrition Lead, Andrew Shepherd.

Development of the app began in 2018, when Holland and Barrett approached the University’s Performance Sport Team to create something unique within an increasingly crowded marketplace.

Drawing on decades of experience of training elite athletes, the Team explored the feasibility of packaging the logic of its holistic, evidence-based approach into a digital solution that adapts to an individual’s evolving training schedule – and appeals across the adult population.

Powered by machine learning, the app constantly learns from the user’s behaviour and preferences to become more tailored and effective over time – providing a route to a sustainable healthy lifestyle, not just a quick fix.

In addition, the process provided invaluable internships for Loughborough’s Exercise Physiology Master’s students to input into the exercise programmes.

Only a few weeks after launch, Oro has already appeared amongst Coach Magazine’s best workout apps, and featured in The Telegraph alongside some of the biggest names in the industry.

Jo Simpson, Commercial Director at Loughborough Sport, said:

We’re globally recognised for supporting Olympic medallists and world champions – but our evidence-based, fad-free approach to fitness and nutrition applies to everyone.

We’ve combined our expertise to create Oro. From the outset, our objective was to create a best-in-class experience for users and, with Oro, we’re really proud to have achieved just that.

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