The importance of exercise and healthy eating has never been greater, as food becomes more processed, healthy meals become increasingly more pricey and nutrition and health are at the forefront of peoples minds. So how are scientists contributing to health and fitness? Here are some exciting innovations for the future:

    3D meal printing
    Engineers at The Massachusetts Institute of Technology developed the ‘Digital Fabricator Concept’, a prototype for a machine that prints 3D meals. Like an electronic Ratatouille, the printer whips up hot and cold dishes suitable for users’ specific nutritional requirements.

    Full-frontal nutrition labels
    Food labels get user-friendly! A new labelling system has been developed that includes all the details on calories, serving size, fat, sodium and sugar on the front of packages.

    Sit-stand workstations
    Recent research has linked a sedentary lifestyle to a myriad of health issues such as weight gain, diabetes and cardiovascular disease. To help with these problems, some organisations are furnishing their employees with sit-stand workstations or ‘leaners’ which allow staff to adjust desk height and alternate sitting and standing throughout the day.

    Biking to work
    As bike-sharing initiatives pop up in US cities and beyond, access to spokes, staying fit and keeping it green has never been easier. Cycling is not only a way of whipping people into shape, but also to save the Earth by reducing air pollution.

    Aeroplane lights that prevent jet lag
    An aeroplane from the USA to Asia has recently piloted high-tech LED bulbs to help prevent jet lag.

    Clothing that regulates body temperature
    Sportswear companies are developing materials that not only protect you from the weather, but also manage temperature giving us no more reasons to not exercise in a snowstorm!

    Hi-tech healthcare
    In June 2011, AT&T in the US launched DiabetesManager, a programme that lets people with diabetes upload info like blood sugar levels and photos of wounds and submit them to their doctors for immediate review. According to Dr. Sherry Pagoto, patients in the future will be able to use digital technology to get real-time professional feedback for a variety of other health problems.

    Calculating nutrition
    Counting calories and food groups is a growing trend, but it’s nowhere near as quick and easy as we need it to be. No one enjoys counting the calories of everything they consume. A balanced diet is of great importance whether you’re aiming for a fitness goal or just trying to lose some weight so easier ways of calorie counting can’t come too soon. As well as barcode scanning and recognition, photography is also being used to help the cause. Through a social media-type platform, you can share pictures of your meals with your Personal Trainer who can do the sums for you. How long will it be before we see a cloud computing solutions that can top up and provide the nutritional data you need?

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