Rise of the Millennial fitness geek: The wearable tech factor

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I’m often suspicious of surveys that come from product manufacturers or special interest groups. It’s amazing how many surveys show that, say, people want to eat more cheese or wear more wool and the surveys just happen to come from the body representing the cheese industry or the biggest manufacturer of wool products!

But this one, from Adapt Nutrition, actually has some interesting data in it about the rise of fitness geeks and their love of technology.



Now we all know that fitness is an obsession for some and how fitness fans have divided into tribes (such as lovers of Pure Barre or the Great Outdoors). But the biggest difference today compared to just a decade ago is how tech plays such a huge part for we ordinary mortals as much as it does for pro athletes.

A survey the company conducted among gym-goers showed more than half of them (51%) now owning a fitness gadget. That’s a big number.

Fitness bands were the top product (48% of gym-goers own one) while apps are also important. That means diet and nutrition apps (used by 37%), personal training smartphone apps (33%), smart body scales (32%) and sleep quality tracking gadgets (25%).


Picture courtesy Forbes

The rise of fitness bands to be the top wearable tech products is perhaps predictable: they’re relatively cheap, functional, and add a clearly defined advantage to justify their existence, something smartwatches haven’t yet been able to achieve.

And they’re helping these gym geeks get serious about finding out what’s happening to their bodies a seriousness that’s getting bigger as wearable tech advances. For instance, one-in-three survey respondents claimed to know what macronutrients are and more than 20% could identify what Branch-Chain Amino Acids (BCAAs) are. That’s information that they’ll most likely have got from an app or as research into what their apps can tell them.

So how are we using the tech and how much is it costing us? Britons most commonly use all the technology to monitor heart rate (68%), calories (47%) and body mass index (44%). 

Body-conscious Britons also confessed to having spent an average of £167 on health and fitness technology in the last 12 months. Unsurprisingly, 24-30-year-olds topped the list of biggest spenders on this type of tech, splashing an average of £224 in the last 12 months, while the over 65s came in last place spending just £42.

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