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Health Technology|Canada|English

GfK Reveals Research in Consumer Health Tracking in US, Canada

New York, NY, 28.09.2016

GfK published the following two releases today, sharing how consumers are using technology to monitor their health in the US and Canada.

Three in 10 US Consumers Are Using Technology to Monitor Their Health

GfK research shows that digital devices, apps help people improve their fitness, motivate exercise

In just-released GfK research, roughly three in ten (29%) US consumers report that they currently monitor their health or fitness through digital technology—a mobile application, online, or via a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch. The US was among the top 3 countries when it comes to fitness monitoring, scoring slightly below the global average of 33%.

According to a survey of 16 countries, China has the highest percentage (45%) of respondents who use technology to monitor health or fitness; this is the only country surveyed where almost half of the population is monitoring their health this way. The US and Brazil tied for the second spot, at 29% each, followed by Germany (28%) and France (26%).   

Download the complete findings for each of the 21 countries.

Reasons for tracking health or fitness

When looking at the entire population internationally, more than half (55%) of those who are currently tracking their health and fitness said one of the reasons they do so is “to maintain or improve my physical condition or fitness.” 

Globally, half (50%) of those using fitness tracking technology say it helps “to motivate myself to exercise.” 

Several of the reasons given by those currently tracking their health or fitness are an indication that users of these trackers value them for benefits that are not exclusive to the world of sports. More than one-third of those who monitor their health express that it is “to improve energy levels” (35%) or “to motivate myself to eat and drink healthily” (34%). Almost 3 in 10 (29%) of all respondents agreed that tracking their health helps “to improve sleep,” “because it’s part of their daily routine,” and “to lose weight”. 

Only 14 percent of those currently tracking their health or fitness say they are doing it “to train for an event.”

Gender has slight impact on tracking health

Looking at the difference between genders, US men are more inclined than women (32% versus 27%) to track their health or fitness via an app or fitness band. Contrastingly, more than half (52%) of the US population have never monitored their health or fitness digitally – 54% for women and 51% for men.  These figures are slightly larger than the global average of 46% for women and 44% for men. 

Age has strong impact on tracking health

Among the different age groups in the US, people in their thirties (ages 30 to 39) and twenties (ages 20 to 29) are most likely to be monitoring their health using digital technology -- 46% for the 30s group and 44% for those in their 20s.

Other age segments are much less likely to be using fitness trackers . Teens (ages 15 to 19) and those in the 40-to-49 group register only 25% each; and the 50-to-59 and 60+ segments come in at a mere 17% each. 

GfK’s data on Canada was in the mid-range of nations measured, scoring below the global average of 33%. (Scroll down to read more about GfK’s Canadian health tracking trends.)

Two in 10 Canadian Consumers Are Using Technology to Monitor Their Health

GfK research shows that digital devices, apps help people improve their fitness, motivate exercise

In just-released GfK research, roughly two in ten (19%) Canadian consumers report that they currently monitor their health or fitness through digital technology—a mobile application, online, or via a fitness band, clip, or smartwatch. Canada was in the mid-range of nations measured, scoring below the global average of 33%.

According to a survey of 16 countries, China has the highest percentage (45%) of respondents who use technology to monitor health or fitness; this is the only country surveyed where almost half of the population is monitoring their health this way. The US and Brazil tied for the second spot, at 29% each, followed by Germany (28%) and France (26%).   

Download the complete findings for each of the 21 countries.

Reasons for tracking health or fitness

When looking at the entire population internationally, more than half (55%) of those who are currently tracking their health and fitness said one of the reasons they do so is “to maintain or improve my physical condition or fitness.” 

Globally, half (50%) of those using fitness tracking technology say it helps “to motivate myself to exercise.” 

Several of the reasons given by those currently tracking their health or fitness are an indication that users of these trackers value them for benefits that are not exclusive to the world of sports. More than one-third of those who monitor their health express that it is “to improve energy levels” (35%) or “to motivate myself to eat and drink healthily” (34%). Almost 3 in 10 (29%) of all respondents agreed that tracking their health helps “to improve sleep,” “because it’s part of their daily routine,” and “to lose weight”. 

Only 14 percent of those currently tracking their health or fitness say they are doing it “to train for an event.”

Gender has slight impact on tracking health

Looking at the difference between genders, Canadian men (19%) and women (20%) are roughly equal when it comes to tracking their health or fitness via an app or fitness band. Contrastingly, over six in 10 (61%) of the US population have never monitored their health or fitness digitally – 63% for men and 59% for women.  These figures are much larger than the global averages of 46% for women and 44% for men. 

Age has strong impact on tracking health

Among the different age groups in Canada, people in their thirties (ages 30 to 39) are most likely to be monitoring their health using digital technology, with a level of 24%. Other age segments are not far behind though – 21% for those 20 to 29, and 19% for the 40 to 49 and 60+ age segments. 

About the study

GfK conducted the online survey with over 20,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 16 countries. Fieldwork was completed in summer 2016. Data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population aged 15+ in each market. Countries covered are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, France, Germany, Italy, Mexico, Netherlands, Russia, South Korea, Spain, UK and USA. 

About GfK

GfK is the trusted source of relevant market and consumer information that enables its clients to make smarter decisions. More than 13,000 market research experts combine their passion with GfK’s long-standing data science experience. This allows GfK to deliver vital global insights matched with local market intelligence from more than 100 countries. By using innovative technologies and data sciences, GfK turns big data into smart data, enabling its clients to improve their competitive edge and enrich consumers’ experiences and choices. 

For more information, please visit www.gfk.com or follow GfK on Twitter

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