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Should I be Concerned About Fitness Tracking Apps and Wearable Tech?

Written by Chris Werte

Fitness apps and wearable tech are all the rage. They get a lot of press, and members and staff are probably talking about them in your club. Even some larger chains are announcing partnerships with wearables companies. Anything that helps get people focused on moving more, living a healthier lifestyle and getting fitter cannot be bad. And they’re cool… right?


Members can use wearables or apps for a number of reasons: tracking their calorie intake, counting steps, logging quality sleep minutes, determining their activity level etc. Some technology even allows them to work together with friends to compare their performance/progress so they can engage in friendly competition and motivate and support each other to meet their goals. For some, this is their way to kick start a new focus on fitness.

One thing we do know; their popularity seems to be growing. But this all needs to be placed in perspective and we need to separate the hype from reality. Right now 1 in 5 people with internet access (eMarketer) and 1 in 4 gym members who took part in the TRP 10,000™ Study use some form of wearable (stand-alone trackers and smart sports watches) or fitness app that can help track their progress. But, while fitness tracking apps and devices have made a notable footprint – and the number of internet users using wearables is set to double in the next 4 years (eMarketer) – they are yet to hit the heights of smartphones and tablet computers (eMarketer): Which a whopping 2.08 billion people worldwide are projected to now use (Statista).

As part of our continued research into member behaviour and retention, in the latest TRP 10,000™ study we have looked in detail at what the use of fitness tracking apps and devices tells us about gym members. Our findings provide interesting insights into what motivates app users and in which areas they report the most progress. There is a visible difference in what motivates app users compared to non-app users, meaning you and your team can view wearable tech as a beacon to identify a group of members moving in a similar direction and interact with them in a relevant, meaningful way.

Discover What App Use Can Tell You About Your Members’ Motivations to Exercise

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