FAQs - buddyboost


We’ve tried to think of every question you may have about buddyboost, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for below, please get in touch with us via support@buddyboost.co.uk

Top questions

You can only be in one buddy group at a time.  It’s possible that you may receive an invitation to join a different buddy group from the one you are already in. As you can only be a member of one group at a time, you’ll have to decide if you want to accept the new invitation and leave your existing group or decline the new invitation and stay where you are.

It’s also possible that you decide you want to leave your existing group without having received a new invitation. If you want to do this, then click on the 3 ‘breadcrumbs’ at the top right of the Buddies screen & you will have the option to leave the group. From here, you can then invite other people, or ask to be invited to their group.

Yes. The essence of buddyboost is to remain active, even if stuck indoors, and to maintain a virtual relationship with your buddy. This is all explained below, and we have paid special attention to the public health advice to ensure that we are keeping everyone safe and supported.

Yes. However, it is a better experience on a handheld device. We would advise that you should register and invite a buddy using a handheld device, rather than an iPad, to avoid any difficulties.

The app is only available in Europe. As buddyboost follows a daily calendar and is linked to the GMT/BST time zone, we decided not to make the current version available elsewhere. If you are in a country that has a big time difference from the UK, the calendar would change during the middle of a day rather than at midnight, which would be confusing. If buddyboost is as successful as we hope, the next version may have a roaming time-zone format for all countries.

General buddyboost

buddyboost is a free app and website to help people feel healthier, happier and more connected to friends, family members or colleagues. It’s never been more important to stay physically active, mentally well and to support our friends – and mayathon will help you do that.

The app helps you log your activity and mood, build up a calendar and support your buddy or buddies.

There are 2 reasons buddyboost focuses on 26 minutes. The first is that the UK’s Chief Medical Officer recommends that we should do at least 150 minutes of moderate activity a week. If you do buddyboost every day, you’ll clock up 182 minutes a week and, even if you were to miss a day, you’d still be up at 156 minutes. The second is that it’s less than 30 minutes. That 4 minute difference may not look much, but our research shows that 26 minutes feels easier to squeeze into a busy day and more achievable for people who aren’t used to exercising much. If you’re interested in finding out more, the CMO’s activity guidelines can be read hereThis report also explains the link between physical activity and improved mental wellbeing.

It’s always been the case that doing some physical activity, ideally every day, can help to improve our overall wellbeing and mood. Studies have shown that physical activity can boost our immune systems and reduce anxiety and stress.

These benefits are probably even more important now than ever. In fact, official advice on coronavirus is for people to stay active, stay connected and to develop some healthy routines.

However, we must all follow the government’s advice on social distancing and maintain good hygiene by washing our hands regularly for 20 seconds. The advice may change and so the best way to stay safe and do the right thing is to keep an eye on the most recent guidance. You can do that via this link on social distancing which also contains advice on how to help those self-isolating and how to look after our mental wellbeing at this time.

Also, if you aren’t feeling well, you must always check the latest government advice on self-isolation. Click here for the latest advice on self-isolation.

Signing up
It’s easy, just download the free buddyboost app from the App Store or Google Play. You’ll be asked for your email address and to answer two simple questions relating to how active you are and how you generally feel. As part of the registration process, once you enter your email address an email will be sent to you from noreply@buddyboost.co.uk containing a 6-digit one time passcode (OTP). Please note we have done our best to ensure this OTP email can pass through most filters, but please check your spam or junk files in case it has been diverted by your email filter.
Yes. The calendar is open all the time. We may run date-specific “challenges” from time to time – but these can also be joined part of the way through.

buddyboost is a great way for you and your kids to be active together. Daily active family time will help add structure to your day and help create a routine, which, as you probably have worked out, is really important at the moment.

If we are in lockdown, or you need to self-isolate, then stay in the house and do a dance routine, get into the garden and do an activity together. Or (if the government advice allows it) go out for a walk or find a quiet corner of your local park to kick a ball around. 

buddyboost’s goal is to help as many people as possible to feel healthier and happier. So that we can understand whether or not buddyboost is working, it’s important for us to get an indication of how active and how happy people are when they sign-up. Ultimately, we want to help public health bodies develop better strategies for increasing physical and mental wellbeing.

As above, buddyboost’s goal is to help as many people as possible to feel healthier and happier.  Knowing a bit more about who is using the buddyboost app can help inform strategies on how to improve physical and mental wellbeing where it is needed most. Please also be reassured that all data is anonymised, aggregated and GDPR compliant.

buddyboost will look after any personal information you share with us. This is central to our values as an organisation. We want you to feel confident about how any personal information you share with us will be looked after or used. Our privacy policy and terms of use can be found on the buddyboost app and website, and explain how we process, store and use personal data.

Please note that as set out in our privacy policy, we will not use your information for marketing purposes.

Buddying up & messaging your buddy
No. You don’t have to have a buddy or buddies, but it’s more fun if you do. You’re also more likely to stick to doing activity as you’ll feel that sense of accountability to your buddy or buddies. The great thing about buddyboost is that your buddies don’t need to be physically there with each other when you do your activity – it’s more about supporting and encouraging each other.
Once you’ve downloaded the app, you can invite up to 5 friends to be your buddies. When they download the app and sign-up, your accounts are then linked together. Just pull down the screen to refresh the app and you’ll see your buddy’s name in the page ‘buddies’ screen. You’ll also see each others’ photo if you’ve uploaded one in the ‘Profile’ section of the app.

On your app home screen (‘streaks’), you are always the Bear and your buddy or buddies are always the Turtle. On their app home screen, however, they see themselves as the Bear and their buddies as the Turtle (i.e. it’s the reverse).

On your homepage, the Bear will light up if you have done your activity and the Turtle will light up if any one of your buddies has done theirs. So, if they’ve done their activity first, you’ll know that it’s time to do yours.  You can also see what activity each of your buddies has done on the ‘Buddies’ screen in the app.

No, only your results will count towards your buddyboost streak. Ultimately this is about your health and happiness, but we know that the buddy relationship is important to help us stick at something, keep us connected and have a bit more fun.

We’re sorry. We were only able to use the standard Unicode emoji API with the neutral, yellow emojis. This is something we will monitor with future releases.

Exercise/activity & logging in the app

As some of the normal ways we use to get active may not be available to us at the moment, let’s get creative! Lots of gyms, for example, are offering online workouts, there’s loads of activity you can follow online including videos on YouTube. By using the app’s ‘discover’ section you will find lots of tips and hints, including videos to inspire you! All this can be found on the website too.

The great thing about buddyboost is that you can do any kind of exercise and at any time you like, as long as it’s for at least 26 minutes during that day. If you are a key-worker, you will be super busy, but taking a break to do a bit of exercise should help your mood and stress levels too. If you can only fit in a brisk walk during the day at work, that’s just as good as doing a fitness video in your living room or going for a jog. Whatever fits in best with your schedule and the new way we are all having to live. There are lots of suggestions via the ‘discover’ section of the app and on the website.
There’s no need to do more than 26 minutes (but of course you can if you want to) – and you don’t even have to do them all in one go. The timer on the app has a pause function, so you could do 10 minutes in the morning and finish the rest in the evening.

Just remember, it’s not about how fast, how far or how many calories. It is simply about you and your buddy doing the 26 minutes of activity each day and what impact the exercise has on your mood and your overall health.
Occasionally it won’t be possible to do your 26 minutes – your day gets too hectic or something else crops up – don’t worry. Your target over the week should be to exceed the 150 minutes of moderate exercise per week that is recommended by the Chief Medical Officer – and you can actually hit this by doing 6 out of 7 days a week.
Ideally you should log your activity on the day itself. The main reason for this is so that your buddy knows you have done your 26 minutes. The other reason is for you to see your streak building up day-by-day. You’ll also get to enjoy the daily celebration the App shares with you!

However, if you do forget, then you are able to log your activity and mood retrospectively by pressing the relevant day on the calendar.
So long as your doctor has approved you taking light exercise, there’s no reason why you can’t take part. Remember, it’s not about how fast or hard you exercise, it’s about being active for 26 minutes a day. If your health issues are directly related to coronavirus you should not be taking part in buddyboost. Visit 111 online and follow the guidance. Above all be sensible and be safe.
You can join the online buddyboost community via Facebook, Instagram and Twitter to share your personal progress and feel supported by endless amounts of encouragement.
Share your thoughts, ask a question or simply say hello by emailing us at support@buddyboost.co.uk – the emails are checked regularly during Monday to Friday and we do our best to respond within 48 hours.

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