Survey: Consumer utilization of fitness technology on the rise

ARLINGTON, Va. — More than half (55%) of U.S. online consumers used a fitness technology in the past year, and more than one-third (37%) anticipate purchasing fitness technology in the next 12 months, according to new research by the Consumer Electronics Association. "Getting Connected with Emerging Fitness Technologies" shows the number of consumers who used a fitness technology in the past year increased 8% from 2010. Results from the study were released Wednesday at the mHealth Summit.

According to the study, 46% of consumers who do not exercise cite lack of motivation as the main reason for not exercising. For those who do exercise, the top reasons are to improve overall health (76%) and to lose weight (58%). The study found the primary benefits owners attribute to using fitness technologies are to stay motivated, monitor physical activity and make exercise more enjoyable.

“We continue to see technology play an increasingly important role in health and fitness,” stated Kevin Tillmann, senior research analyst, CEA. “Fitness technology is empowering consumers to assess their fitness levels, set achievable goals, track progress and make exercise more rewarding.”

Pedometers remain the most popular health and fitness device, but fitness video games saw the most dramatic increase in usage, almost doubling from 9% in 2010, to 16% in 2012. However, heart rate monitors and body mass index scales both saw a 6% decrease in usage from 2010.

“Wirelessly-connected devices have allowed for major strides within digital health and fitness,” Tillmann said. “Consumers already own devices, such as smartphones, that are capable of being used for exercise and fitness. This year we saw considerable growth in fitness apps. This enables the devices we already own to turn into pedometers, accelerometers and distance trackers.”