Seven out of Ten U.S. Adults Use Health and Fitness Tracking

by Deborah McConnell

February 21, 2013 // Category: Fitness Community

A new study from the PEW Research Center takes a closer look at one of the hottest fitness industry trends, health and fitness tracking. Sixty-nine percent of adults are tracking their health with measures such as body weight, calories and distance, and of those trackers, one in five does so using technology.

When you break down that data by age, you may be surprised to see that only eight percent of those technology-savvy trackers use a mobile app. Eight percent may not seem like a lot, but don’t be so quick to write off the thousands of available health and fitness tracking apps as useless. When app trackers are broken down by age, the percentage is double for the younger crowd. 

Sixteen percent of 18-29 year-old trackers use an app or other tool on a mobile phone or device, compared with 9% of 30-49 year-olds, 3% of 50-64 year-olds, and 1% of trackers ages 65 and older.

Additionally, if you split this data out by smart phone users, regardless of age, 1 in 5 of those track a health indicator with an app.

It’s a trend gym owners and fitness equipment manufacturers cannot ignore. As more and more young people enter the gym environment, the use of mobile devices, tracking apps and wearable health devices is going to increase. As health and fitness tracking technologies continue to advance, this users are bound to expand.

The best part – the PEW study also shows that tracking health indicators can have a positive impact.

  • Forty-six percent of trackers say that this activity has changed their overall approach to maintaining their health or the health of someone for whom they provide care.
  • Forty percent of trackers say it has led them to ask a doctor new questions or to get a second opinion from another doctor.
  • Thirty-four percent of trackers say it has affected a decision about how to treat an illness or condition.

So, whether you’re using pen and paper, a website like LFconnect or logging miles on a fitness app, tracking can be effective. For many, the feedback provides motivation necessary to keep individual’s coming back and their health and fitness goals in reach.

Gym owners, we want to hear from you. Are you seeing a rise in online or mobile fitness tracking in your members? If so, how are you adapting to support this growing base of trackers?

As an answer to these growing trends, Life Fitness’s internal software engineers developed LFconnect.com, a complementary cloud solution for networked fitness. Not only does the site provide tools for exercisers and personal trainers to create and track workouts, but it also provides facility owners with asset management and customization features on one convenient platform. 

Learn More:

PEW Research Center – Tracking for Health

 
Deborah McConnell
 

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