Can apps and gadgets really sooth your body and mind? See if wellness really is just a click away with our pick of the eleven best bits of kit or apps…
1 The standing desk Sedentary lifestyles are blamed for a number of health issues from heart disease to diabetes. Enter the ‘standing’ height-adjustable desk, which is reputed to increase calorie consumption, concentration and improve alertness. It sits on an existing desk or table and you go from sitting to standing by simply squeezing the levers and raising the work surface. The ‘Pro Plus 36’ standing desk, £365, Varidesk
2 The happy app Everybody wants more happiness in their life. This app points you in the direction of thoughts and feelings that will boost your mood, using short games that are fun to play. £3.75 a month if you sign up to a year. Happify
3 The air monitor ‘Awair’ is a gadget the size of a brick that claims to track toxins and chemicals in your home’s air and give you personalised recommendations to help improve it. After syncing the unit to the Awair app, it will rate your home between one and five for categories such as temperature, humidity, CO2 and dust. These scores combine to give an overall rating of between one and 100 – 100 being perfect. The ‘Awair’ air monitor, £179.
4 The yoga app No need to book trendy classes or have the latest gear. This yoga app brings the classes to you, with more than 100 tutorials available (from beginner to pro). £3.20 a month if you sign up to a year. Daily Yoga
5 The super watch Although you can pick up, send to voicemail or drop calls and write quick texts, from your wrist, this is not
intended to be a phone on your arm. You sync it with your smartphone then tailor it to your requirements ie which notifications you wish to receive. With an activity tracker with mindfulness and breathing monitors built in, this is good for those who want to leave their phones in their bag. The Apple ‘Watch Series II’, from £269.
6 The breathing app Think you don’t need to be taught how to breathe? You might be wrong. This app shares the secrets to the calming health benefits of diaphragmatic breathing (or belly breathing). Free to download. Breathe2Relax
7 The fitness watch The Fitbit Charge 2 takes step counting to the next level by also tracking heart rate, sleep, and calories burnt. And, in a nod to more advanced smartwatches, it displays text messages. Connected via Bluetooth to the Fitbit app (free to download) it compiles your stats into simple infographics. Hit the recommended number of steps per day (10,000) and you are rewarded with an explosion of fireworks on the watch’s screen. Fall behind on your movement and it will prompt you, vibrating to tell you to get up. The ‘Fitbit Charge 2’ fitness watch, £139.99.
8 The massage app A massage is the ultimate relaxing indulgence, and now it’s easier than ever to treat yourself. Simply download the app, insert your address, pick a date and the type of massage you would like (deep tissue, Thai, relaxing…) and a professional therapist will come to your house. From £65 for 60 minutes. Urban Massage
9 The sunlight simulator This SAD lamp simulates bright daylight to induce a feeling of wellbeing and help combat Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). With a compact circular design, this lightweight lamp has a 10,000-lux LED light box (lux is a measurement of light intensity; a 10,000-lux plus exposure is recommended by experts to treat SAD symptoms) and once plugged in, the light produces a bright, but pleasant white glow, which is flicker and UV-free. Beurer’s ‘TL50 Brightlight’, £90.
10 The meditation app This app aims to introduce time-strapped people to meditation, with a free, bite-sized seven-day plan. What sets this app apart is that it also focuses on that other concern of the stressed: sleep. Free to download, subscription from £3.89 a month if you sign up to a year. Calm
11 The home health monitor At just 15cm tall, this discreet, plug-in home monitoring device promises to report the temperature, humidity, air quality and noise levels of any room in your house. Once you download the free Healthy Home Coach app to both the monitor and your phone (iPhone or Android), this is an extremely simple device, updating rather than instructing; you are told if each category is currently Poor, Fair, Excellent, etc. The ‘Healthy Home Coach’, Netatmo, £89.99.
Find more tips on wellbeing at home see the July 2017 ‘Wellbeing’ issue of ELLE Decoration UK
And read Editor-in-Chief Michelle Ogundehin’s 5 ‘easy wins’ for a happy home in her Trendbulletin 21