What is the solution?
Exerspace is a platform that suggests socially distant physical activities based on space constraints and helps users discover new, open spaces, and connect them to mentors.
In the mobile or web app, a user inputs the dimensions or type of space (ex. bedroom, living room, front yard, etc.) of the confined space that they use for physical activity and the number of people they want to join the activity. The app will then suggest individual and group activities that require no equipment and that can be played in the confined space, as well as provide instructions to play and maintain social distancing.
Users who have space constraints at home can also view activities that require more space to play and search for open spaces based on the activity. In the future iterations of the application, the app could partner with city governments to monitor the density of open spaces using mobile hotspot usage and/or people counting sensors at field gates, alert users of current densities, and allow them to book real-time appointments to use the open spaces. Users and city governments can also collaborate to designate less or not used city infrastructure meant for cars for physical activity.
The participants in group activities can vote to designate a team leader to enforce social distancing and game rules. Individuals and teams on the platform can request a mentor / coach to discuss with them live about the game, provide advice, and suggest best practices, and overall provide mental support.
As people must stay at home during quarantine, people struggle to maintain physical activity with space constraints and lack of equipment. According to the Sport England COVID19 Active Lives weekly surveys from April to May 2020, on average 24 percent of those without access to open space exercised at least 30 minutes a day, as opposed to on average 34 percent of those with access to open space. Women and immigrants were also more likely to be less active on average. 80 percent of university student athletes in the United States, who had to return home from university unexpectedly, cited closure of training facilities as barriers to maintain their training. Youth in China on average spent 7 hours less of exercise per week during the pandemic. In addition, as cities grow, there is a need to rethink physical activity in confined spaces and how open spaces are used.
Exerspace aims to help meet the SDG Goals 3: Health and Well-being and 10: Reduce Inequality , as well as Kazan Action Plan policy areas: II 1. Improve health and well-being of all, at all ages, and II.3 Provide quality education, and promote lifelong learning for all and skills development through sport, and II.6 Advance gender equality and empower all women and girls. The app allows people without access to open spaces to still access exercise plans and bridges the inequality in physical activity among those who have less resources such as women, immigrants, and those of low-income. Exerspace aims to help meet the SDG Goal 11: Sustainable Cities and Communities , as well as Kazan Action Plan policy area: II.2 Make cities and settlements inclusive, safe, resilient and sustainable. Exerspace also provides users with the opportunity to discover new open spaces and suggest underutilized space as result of decline in traffic.
More people suffer from mental health issues and lack understanding of where to seek help. More than 70% of respondents to the Sport England survey used physical activity maintain their mental health. Student athletes in the U.S. feel more positive with increased communication from their coaches. By matching individuals with live mentors / coaches / fitness experts, Exerspace allows those who are isolated to still communicate using sport.
Exerspace aims to help meet Kazan Action Plan policy areas: I 6. Foster the inclusion of youth in decision-making processes and II.8 Build effective, accountable and inclusive institutions at all levels by allow teams to designate an activity leader and allow people to take control of their mental health.