Review: How accessible is the My Fitness Pal app?

Steven Morris, Digital Champions Coordinator, Online Today project

The New Year is often a time when people think about making resolutions. If you’re anything like me though, mine are usually broken by the end of January! But one resolution I’m determined to keep this year is to lose weight and get fitter.

In the past when I’ve tried diets, one of the most difficult aspects I’ve found is keeping track of what I’ve been eating and how much exercise I’ve done. There are many different diet websites and apps out there, and I’ve tried a few.

How accessible is My Fitness Pal

As someone with a dual sensory impairmentpart of the problem for me was finding a fitness app that was accessible and easy to use. I found it pretty de-motivating when I had to ask my wife to enter all the information into an app for me, as it wasn’t very empowering. However, I’ve found a website and app which is much more accessible and I’ve started this New Year with renewed enthusiasm.

“My Fitness Pal is a free calorie counter and exercise tracker. You can do it online via the website or via IPhone, Android and Windows smartphone apps. The website is accessible for me using JAWS screen reader software.”

My Fitness Pal is a free calorie counter and exercise tracker. You can do it online via the website or via IPhone, Android and Windows smartphone apps. I mainly use My Fitness Pal on my IPhone, although I can also add that the website is accessible for me using JAWS screen reader software.

After you’ve signed up and added your height and weight to the app, it works out what your daily calorie intake should be. For example, my calorie allowance is 1900 calories per day. The food database has over 5 million foods in it, and I’m yet to find something I eat that isn’t listed, so it’s easy to add food. There are recipe builders too, so you can track the nutritional content of home-made foods and add meals you eat regularly to save you having to find it in the database every time.

Will My Fitness Pal sync to other devices?

My Fitness Pal will also sync with a number of other apps if you have them, for example, Apple’s health app. This means exercise data is automatically added to the My Fitness Pal app as you go. My wife uses a Fitbit, and this can also share information with My Fitness Pal.

“My wife uses a Fitbit, and this can also share information with My Fitness Pal.”

Generally, the IPhone app is really accessible and I can do almost everything without support. There does seem to be an issue – which others have also picked up on – that the sign-up process isn’t a smooth as we’d like with Voiceover, and that some people have found issues with entering weight (not something I’ve noticed). These are really small things and, of all the diet/fitness apps I’ve tried, this is the one I like the most.

You can find links to various fitness apps at the the My Fitness Pal website.

Have you used this app? What’s your opinion? What other health apps would you recommend? I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below:

Steven Morris

Author: Steven Morris

Digital Champions Coordinator, Online Today project

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