One in Three Now Track Their Health and Fitness

The New Year is a time when many look to improve their fitness, and it seems that for a lot of people, wearable activity trackers such as Fitbit or Garmin are the key to their exercise regimes.

A recent international GfK survey, conducted online in 16 countries, shows one in three people (33 percent) currently monitor or track their health or fitness via an online or mobile application, or via a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch. 

China is well in the lead for monitoring health and fitness in this way, with 45 percent of the online population currently doing this. Brazil and the USA come next, with 29 percent each, closely followed by Germany (28 percent) and France (26 percent).

In most countries studied, men are ahead of women in this activity, but five countries stand out as having a higher percentage of their female than their male online population currently tracking their health and fitness in this way: China (48 percent of women, compared to 43 percent of the men), Russia (21 percent of women and 17 percent of men), France (27 percent and 25 percent), Australia (20 percent and 18 percent), and Canada (20 percent and 19 percent).

Looking at age, it is those aged 30-39 and 20-29 years old that are most keen on tracking their health and fitness - standing at 41 percent and 39 percent of each age group respectively. However, teenagers (15-19 year olds) and the 20-29 year olds both show almost a quarter of their numbers saying that, while they do not currently monitor their health or fitness in this way, they have done so in the past.

Reasons for tracking health or fitness 

Over half (55 percent) of those who are currently tracking their health and fitness said one of the reasons they do it is "to maintain or improve my physical condition or fitness" - making this the most popular reason internationally.

The next most widespread reason is motivating themselves to exercise, selected by half (50 percent) of those currently tracking.

Several of the reasons given by those currently tracking health or fitness are a reminder that users of these trackers value them for benefits that are not exclusive to the world of sports. Over a third give "to improve my energy levels" or "to motivate myself to eat and drink healthily" as a reason for tracking their health or fitness, while 29 percent say "to improve sleep" and a quarter say "to be more productive". In addition, 22 percent say "because it's fun". Only 14 percent of those currently tracking their health or fitness say they are doing it "to train for an event."
    
    Why are people tracking or monitoring their health or fitness?
    To maintain or improve my physical
    condition/fitness                          55%
    To motivate myself to exercise             50%
    To improve my energy level                 35%
    To motivate myself to eat and drink
    healthily                                  34%
    To improve sleep                           29%
    Because it's part of my daily routine      29%
    To lose weight                             29%
    To be more productive                      24%
    Because it's fun                           22%
    To monitor or track a specific health
    condition                                  17%
    To train for an event (race, sport, etc.)  14%
    To compete with other people               8%
    For some other reason                      2%
    Not sure                                   1%

Jan Wassmann, global lead for wearables research at GfK, comments, "These findings demonstrate the attraction that health and fitness monitoring has within much wider groups than just the obvious young sports players."



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