3D body scanning – the key to mapping out successful health and fitness journeys

Consumers are increasingly looking for holistic, whole-person approaches when it comes to improving and maintaining their physical and mental health. The pandemic has reminded us all just how important exercise and staying “fighting fit”, both mentally and physically, really is. Technology will play a huge role in the post-COVID-19 health revolution too, as consumers have become more literate in the use of fitness trackers and smartwatches – and the data they produce. 

For operators, this is both an opportunity and a challenge. As consumers get used to tech, having data and other “extras” attached to their wellness journeys become the expectation. Clubs, gyms and fitness studios, therefore, have an opportunity to engage customers by offering experiences which aren’t available to consumers anywhere else – insights and data that go beyond smartwatches and trackers. 

What this all means is that, in order to thrive in a post-pandemic world, businesses operating in the fitness sector need to adapt. As people seek to find exercise experiences that mix fitness programmes with health services and technological innovation, gym and health club operators need to find ways to meet the new demands. Exercise and nutrition programmes alone are not enough to engage modern-day users, who are looking for health insights. 

 

SET POINTS HEALTH

Manchester-based Set Points Health helps personal trainers, gyms, health clubs and fitness businesses improve the health of their clients and members by designing bespoke health assessments. The service differentiates the usual fitness offering into premium, bespoke packages that benefit both the operators and their clients. The company works to solve individual, occupational and corporate wellness health needs.

Founded by Dr. Mark Martin, Set Points Health utilises 3D body imaging and blood tests to provide unique insights into a person’s health. Those looking to improve their physical fitness are provided with accurate details about their current state of health – from body composition using a 3D scanner to information gained from blood tests – in order to create tangible and achievable targets for them to hit. 

“We optimise training programmes with precision medicine by discovering how the environment, food, exercise, medication and ageing affect a person’s inner health and metabolism,” Dr. Martin says. 

The information provided by Set Points Health allows the individual to create bespoke fitness programmes and physical activity regimes which allow them to reach their health and fitness goals. 

“Having personalised insights is a great way to increase an individual’s motivation levels,” Dr. Martin adds. “By tapping into a deeper understanding of one’s body composition and metabolic needs, a person can better understand the effects that exercise and healthy habits have on their bodies.”

 

One machine – a wide range of benefits

At the heart of Set Points Health’s service to health clubs sits Styku – the world’s leading 3D body scanner. Styku’s intuitive technology makes accurate 3D body scanning possible in as little as 35 seconds. Using Styku’s rotating turntable and an infrared 3D camera, Dr Martin and his team can provide countless body measurements with 2mm accuracy. 

Using the 3D tech, Set Points Health is able to provide people with exact body measurements and illustrations of shape, posture analysis and precise body composition. 

According to Dr Martin, the way Styku creates and presents data is a great way to set goals around health, wellness and fitness – and also makes it a unique motivational tool.

“Styku measures body circumference(s) and uses a complex equation to calculate an accurate prediction of body fat percentage, lean mass percentage, bone mass and waist to hip ratios,” he says. “It allows you to see an “avatar” of your own body with your data superimposed on top of it. It’s very powerful – and great for setting health or fitness goals. 

“Most people say they want to lose weight, but what they really want is to lose fat. And that’s where the visuals from 3D body imaging really make a difference. At Set Points Health, we use it to give an individual their current metrics and set targets. For example, how many kilogrammes of fat an individual needs to shed weight or how many centimetres they need to lose off their waist in order to go from ‘high risk’ to ‘low risk’ and tangibly reduce health risks.

”The weighing scale is not everyone’s friend in a health journey. In fact, it is a common cause for people giving up. Showing someone the inches lost of their waist, despite the scale barely budging, is intrinsic motivation at its best.”

According to Dr Martin, after helping to create specific, evidence-based targets, Styku then becomes a motivational tool.

“What we do is we set a date for the next scan and break down the overall goal into smaller, interim targets for the individual to hit,” he says. “Usually, we aim to schedule the scans far enough apart for the individual to see meaningful progress, but close enough for them to develop healthy habits. We’ve found that a month is an ideal period of time.

“It’s always great to see people’s reaction to their scans. Seeing an actual visual representation of what you have achieved is such a powerful motivator. This is especially true for those trying to lose weight but who are also building muscle. We can show people that while the scales might not be going down as quickly as they wish, it’s because they are becoming leaner and healthier. They’re losing fat and replacing it with muscle.”

Dr Martin says the way Styku can be utilised to create bespoke health and fitness journeys can be a real differentiator for gyms and health clubs. By offering technology that is unavailable to consumers – in an age when so many people now wear fitness trackers and smartwatches – facility operators can become more than ‘just a gym’. 3D body scanning technology, when combined with trained staff, allows operators to become health and wellness hubs, offering preventative healthcare in the purest form – using analytics and data to identify potential (or real) health issues and then providing solutions through exercise, nutritional advice or treatment programmes. 

“The reason that people fail to reach their fitness or health goals is usually down to a lack of accountability,” Dr Martin says. “They don’t set or have clear goals that they can stick to and too many clubs don’t offer engaging ways or opportunities for members to assess and track their progress. Paying for your gym membership might make you feel obligated to go – but it’s hardly a great motivation by itself. 

As well as creating a USP and improving member retention at a club, 3D body scanning generates extra revenue through the regular scans and can become an important income stream for clubs. 

 

CASE STUDY: Oksana C. – a pregnancy fitness journey

A great example of how Styku can be used in a wide variety of ways to help people reach their health goals is the fitness journey of Oksana C, a client at Set Points Health. Oksana became pregnant in early 2021 and wanted to chart her fitness journey throughout her pregnancy using Styku. 

“Detailing and following Oksana’s body transformation was a fascinating progress,” Dr Martin says. “Before she fell pregnant, she was close to being in the best shape of her life and she was determined to make sure she ‘got her body back’ after having the baby. 

“The challenge we had was that, after having their babies, many women find it hard to lose the weight they gained when pregnant. So we set a goal for Oksana to get back to the shape she was in before her term – that was the final goal. 

“We then tracked how her body changed during the pregnancy. She had nine scans during her term and each offered us data which allowed us to pick up on unique aspects and to adjust her training regime – such as introducing pelvic floor exercises. We also used the scans to begin planning the post-pregnancy training programme. This psychological preparation is a crucial step of the programme, as Styku allows us to ponder which areas of her body would need the most attention. 

“After she had her baby, we then used Styku to visualise the changes her body had undergone and set those interim goals for her journey back to where she was pre-pregnancy. 

“Styku – and the visual data it provided – played a hugely important role in reassuring and motivating Oksana. For example, she put on a lot more weight than she had anticipated, but we were able to show her that it was water she was retaining, which was mostly around her abdomen and explained the swelling in her feet.

“She has done remarkably well, losing all the weight (more than 20kg) she gained during pregnancy and achieving her pre-pregnancy weight. I believe that is much to do with the structured regime we’ve been able to create for her with Styku – as well as the huge motivational aspect the scans provide.”