Bruno’s story: a brilliant success from our healthy ageing pilot

September 12, 2023

Introducing Bruno, who took part in our 12-week pilot as part of our healthy ageing project in partnership with Age UK Lewisham and Southwark. Bruno, alongside 35 other participants, used the Holly Health app at least three times a week for 12 weeks, whilst providing us with regular feedback on their experience, in the form of surveys and friendly catch-up calls with our team.

Fast forward to 6 months after finishing the pilot, Bruno (who still uses the Holly Health app regularly), meets with Holly Health Operations Manager Lily, to discuss his experience…

What does healthy ageing mean to you?

It’s about making the most of ageing. Some could say it’s a painful procedure if anything (laughs), so if there is anything that would make it easier, it's welcome. For me, my biggest worry isn’t about physical health and ageing, it’s actually my brain health and being able to maintain my work. My dad died when he was 96 and he still had his wits about him and my colleague is 75 and he's retired, but he comes in every day - I want that.

And can you talk us through your experience of taking part in our 12-week pilot?

Seeing as I’m a curious person it appealed to my sense of curiosity, and I thought it was very useful. It made me focus a little bit more on a few things I already did,  like going for a walk once a day, but I think the Holly Health app made this a little bit more real and more of an automatic behaviour for me. It helped me stick to things much, much more. Before I would say, “Well, okay, if I don't go for a walk today, there is always tomorrow”, but actually having the Holly Health app there with gentle reminders was helpful. It created a situation that was conducive to me just doing things and in a nice way.

Before starting the pilot, what parts of your life did you feel you needed the most support in?

It was keeping up with consistency really, when it comes to healthy actions.

What are the key aspects of your health that you feel have improved since using Holly Health?

It helped me instigate more regular walking in the day and a stretching routine early in the morning because as you get older you can start to have back pain. The stretching has helped a lot to improve that pain. I don’t manage to do it every day, but I try to make the effort and particularly if I start having a bad back, I now often think it’s because I haven't done the stretching! It’s also helped to bring awareness to what I’m doing. For example,  two of my habits in the app are to go for a walk and to get my heart pumping - so there’s an aspect that makes you more aware as you're going for a walk and it makes me think “Put some energy into it”.

What’s been the most helpful feature of the Holly Health app?

The habit reminders -  they remind me of the things I need to do, and in a gentle way without blame or guilt. If I miss doing my habits, it doesn't make a big deal out of it.

What advice would you give to someone embarking on their Holly Health journey?

I would say give it a go. It's not at all onerous. It doesn't become like a job, because there is already your job for that, right? And that's bad enough (laughs). And you get what you put in at the end of the day.

How would you summarise your experience using Holly Health?

I thought it was great. There are now a few things in my life that I think have changed for good and there’s a certain structure that now I can do automatically and I’ve been able to carry forward. That’s very useful.

A big thank you to Bruno for taking the time to share his Holly Health story with us, and to all of our other participants who took part in the pilot!

You can read more about the project including our healthy ageing pilot outcomes in our piece: User-centred design: Building Holly Health for healthy ageing.