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Mobile Users Get in Shape with Fitness Apps

Goal tracking is the primary reason for health and fitness app usage

April 29, 2014 | Mobile | Healthcare & Pharma

Smartphones moved on from being more than phone call and texting devices several years ago, and research suggests that they’re taking on a new role: personal trainer.

Frequency with Which US Internet Users Access Mobile Health and Fitness Apps, March 2014 (% of total)

A March 2014 study conducted by Research Now for Mobiquity polled 1,000 US internet users who used or planned to use mobile health and fitness apps and found that 70% of respondents accessed or planned to access these apps at least daily. Nearly two-thirds of respondents intended to use such apps more frequently over the next five years.

Goal tracking was the No. 1 reason for accessing mobile health and fitness apps, cited by three in 10 internet users who used or planned to use them. Being aware of health issues and motivation were also primary usage drivers.

Primary Reason that US Internet Users Access Mobile Health and Fitness Apps, March 2014 (% of total)

Respondents weren’t using apps to learn about unhealthy habits (7%), and they had little interest in competing with others, indicating that getting fit with mobile may often be a personal matter.

As consumers get used to tracking fitness while on the go, they’re adopting more than apps: Wearable devices—such as pedometers, smartbands and smartwatches—are also expected to explode in the coming years. According to Mobiquity, the majority of health and fitness app users planned to use wearable devices to track health and fitness, while around two-thirds said they would use wearables daily.

November 2013 Nielsen data cited by MobiHealthNews suggested that older US millennials—those ages 25 to 34—were the age demographic most likely to own fitness bands, likely because this is a group of early adopters with more disposable income than younger millennials.

Demographic Profile of US Fitness Band Owners, Nov 2013 (% of total)

Nearly two-thirds of fitness band owners in the US belonged to households on the lower end of the income range, possibly because fitness bands could be cheaper than gym memberships in the long run.

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