Health and Fitness – Does Google Have All the Answers?

Well Google certainly has all the questions, as is attested to by the UK’s most popular fitness questions. The search phrases we type into the world’s most popular search engine make for some interesting reading, shining a light on the general perspective we hold regarding health, fitness exercise and nutrition. It doesn’t all make for some encouraging reading however, especially with regards to the most widely-held view on weight matters. There appears to be an unhealthy obsession with losing weight and losing it fast, with “How to lose weight fast” leading the way as the most searched phrase. 40,500 average monthly searches of this phrase equate to 486,000 per year.

Coming in as the second most common search phrase typed into Google’s search engine, “Best way to lose weight” averages 14,800 searches a month (177,600 per year).

It gets a bit more encouraging with “How to get a six pack” coming in as the third most searched phrase in the UK (12,100 average monthly searches / 145,200 per year). Well-defined abs depict a high fitness standard, but explicitly referring to it as a six-pack is just a way through which many people are setting themselves up for disappointment. Getting your abs to show definitely takes a lot of hard work which will have a positive effect on your overall health and fitness as it requires you to trim your body fat percentage down to around 10-12% for males and around 16-18% for females.

Other searches (in descending order) include (average searches monthly / searches per year):

  • How to gain weight (6,600 / 79,200)
  • Best exercise to lose weight (5,400 / 64,800)
  • How to build muscle (4,400 / 52,800)
  • Best foods for weight loss (2,900 / 34,800)
  • How much protein do I need (2,400 / 28,000)
  • How to get bigger arms (1,900 / 22,800), and
  • How to get toned (590 / 7,080)

A further look at fitness-related searches conducted by UK residents reveals something rather interesting with regards to the cities from which these seemingly body image-conscious people hail. Newcastle upon Tyne shows up quite a lot, coming in second with regards to searches related to bodybuilding, first in relation to searches around weight loss and third with regard to searches related to diet plans.

The searches around bodybuilding would naturally be accompanied by more specific searches such what the best protein shakes are and what type of exercises to do if one wants to bulk-up, in the same way that searches around weight loss would get a little bit more specific. It’s perhaps a far from accurate way of measuring the results, but going back to the question of whether Google has all the answers with regards to health and fitness, a visit to Newcastle upon Tyne to do some people-watching or perhaps even ask them whether or not they’ve achieved their health and fitness goals would suggest that it doesn’t.

Is it perhaps just a case of asking the wrong questions in the search terms we type in? Probably.

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