Survey: 74 percent of adults plan to purchase a health and fitness device in the next year

By Aditi Pai
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Some 74 percent of adults said they plan to purchase health and fitness device within the next year. And of this group, 35 percent said they plan to buy a smartwatch, according to a survey of 1,001 online US adults conducted by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), formerly the Consumer Electronics Association. The survey was fielded between August 20 and September 2.

Following smartwatches, the next most popular category was fitness-related apps, which 30 percent of users expressed interest in downloading. Twenty-seven percent said they plan to get a dedicated fitness tracking device, 27 percent said they want to purchse smart apparel, and 23 percent plan to get a device that tracks sleep patterns.

“The Consumer Technology Association’s qualitative and quantitative research distinctly shows health and fitness devices help consumers feel they’re more successful in setting personal fitness and health goals and tracking progress, and that their lives are improved by these devices,” CTA Senior Director of Market Research Steve Koenig said in a statement.

When CTA broke out the users who are purchasing a device primarily to focus on fitness versus those focusing on health, they found that 61 percent of users purchasing a device for fitness reasons rank monitoring calories burned highest on their list of desired features, followed by heart rate (52 percent), steps taken (42 percent), distance (34 percent), and blood pressure (23 percent). Meanwhile, the most important feature for health users is monitoring heart rate (58 percent), followed by calories burned (48 percent), blood pressure (47 percent), steps taken (28 percent), and distance traveled (21 percent).

Almost half, 44 percent of consumers, said suggestions from a friend or family member influenced their decision to purchase a health and fitness device. Meanwhile, 17 percent were influenced by online suggestions, 11 percent were influenced by medical professionals, and just 4 percent were influenced by a corporate wellness program.

The CTA also published projected sales of health and fitness devices. The orgnaization predicted that revenue in 2015 would reach $1.8 billion led by activity tracking devices. This is an 18 percent growth year over year. And in 2016, this number would increase by 10 percent.

Almost two years ago, the CTA, in conjunction with Parks Associates, published a report that found the wellness products market generated around $3.3 billion in 2013 and will increase to more than $8 billion in 2018 through product sales and software and service revenues.