23 Jan PRESS RELEASE: New research shows fitness tracking devices popular with older walkers
January 23, 2017, Sydney
New research in Australia shows that fitness tracking devices are not just for young healthy people undertaking strenuous physical activities.
The Pureprofile (ASX: PPL) survey of more than 1,000 Australians over the New Year holiday period shows baby boomers and seniors are emerging as a major market for fitness tracking devices as they are taking up health technology and devices as rapidly as young people.
Walkers over the age of 60 make up the largest number of users of fitness devices, such as smart phone apps and wrist bands, belying the theory and advertising showing predominantly young people are the majority of users.
The survey showed walking is by far the most popular activity with an average of 53 per cent claiming it is their main fitness activity, followed by gym/workouts (17 per cent), running (9 per cent) and swimming (5 per cent).
Walking is popular among people over 60 years of age, with 67 per cent stating it is their main activity, with 58 per cent of people aged 50 to 59 claiming it was their main exercise, while 46 per cent of respondents aged 19 to 49 years old said it was their main exercise.
“Australian retailers and tracking device marketers are all missing a major segment of the market by assuming it is only young people who want to use these technologies”, said Mr Penhall.
“If you look at ads for these devices, they mostly focus on young fit people undertaking strenuous activities. They don’t ever acknowledge the concept of walking as an exercise to maintain a moderate level of personal fitness,” he added.
More than 90 percent of respondents were aware of devices enabling them to monitor their fitness activity, with close to half using their smart phones, a wrist device or both to monitor their movements.
The survey data shows 57 per cent of walkers see merit in a smart phone fitness device and 56 per cent see merit in using a wrist device. More than 60 per cent of walkers do not currently use a smart phone or wrist device to track their exercise and, of these, more than a third would consider using one.
“We believe there is a major market opportunity, especially in the wrist device area, for brands to market specifically to walkers and the older demographic,” said Mr Penhall.
Undertaking physical activity to improve or maintain personal fitness was high amongst the survey sample, with one in five people undertaking some form of activity every day and almost four out of five at least weekly.
The research showed walking was by far the most popular activity among respondents, particularly amongst older respondents with two-thirds of those aged 60 plus claiming it is their main activity and 80 per cent of all respondents choosing walking as either their main fitness activity or at least occassionally.
Fitbit was the most popular brand of wrist device followed by Garmin and the Apple Watch.
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