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A free exercise app made in WNY can get you up and moving

Jeff Grazen salutes those who have exercised at least three times a week during the Covid-19 pandemic.

It’s a good way to spend a few hours, the Lancaster chiropractor said.

But it’s still not enough.

“People have gone through how many Netflix series in the past few weeks? People are sitting and sitting and sitting, probably more so than when they're at work,” Grazen said.

“Once you sit, your body goes into hibernation mode,” he said. “Hibernation mode promotes all the adverse metabolic, physical and emotional stressors that cause us to be unwell – so moving is essential.”

Three years ago, Grazen and two partners – both of them his chiropractic patients –  created an app called Well Fit Plus. It urges users to grab their smartphone, get on their feet every hour or two during a typical workday, and follow along with a variety of 90-second fitness routines led by a wellness pro.

The partners pitched the app mostly to companies, charging a $30 annual fee, but decided this week to offer Well Fit Plus free to everyone, figuring many people are working from home – and that those who aren’t working could use a regular lift, too.

Too much sitting can kill you. An app made in WNY can help change that.

About 200 functional fitness routines grace Well Fit Plus (wellfitplus.com). Used over time, they hit important points across the body. Users can pick their favorites for troubled body regions. Some routines were shot against familiar regional backdrops that include Canalside, KeyBank Center and Buffalo Naval Park.

Those interested in the Well Fit Plus Covid-19 Wellness Challenge can download the app online or on their phone with the case-sensitive code HqBP4. Punch it in when prompted to enter a company code.

About 2,500 people have used the app. Grazen and his partners welcomed workers last week at Roswell Park Comprehensive Cancer Center to start using it free, then decided to waive the annual fee for at least six months for anyone who wants to try it.

The app has caught on with as many as half of workers in offices where it has been offered, Grazen said, though those in one particular downtown office at One News Plaza weren’t as enthusiastic, despite the efforts of a certain health reporter who stood out for a few months doing exercise routines alone beside his raising-lowering desk.

Workers elsewhere have reported feeling more energetic, losing weight, and lowering their blood sugar and cholesterol levels, Grazen said.

“The first time we asked people about their experience,” he said, “almost across the board they told us, ‘You know it's kind of fun and people laugh, and we do laugh at each other every hour.’ Well, what's better for wellness than standing and laughing together for a minute or two every hour at work?”

Any fear of embarrassment during this pandemic should be limited, anyway.

“Now,” Grazen said, “people are all at home.”

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