ACE® SURVEY EXAMINES IMPACT OF WEARABLE ACTIVITY DEVICES ON THE FITNESS INDUSTRY
Results Show Clients Want Professional Advice on Integrating Wearable Devices into Their Training Programs
SAN DIEGO, Sept. 3, 2015—Whether they are counting calories, tracking steps or monitoring sleep patterns, many consumers find measuring their progress and milestones an important part of their health and fitness routine. It’s no wonder wearable devices are becoming ubiquitous, both inside and outside the gym. According to the Consumer Electronics Association, estimated revenues from fitness and activity tracking devices, which include fitness activity bands, smartwatches and smart eyewear, will reach $5.1 billion in 2015.
Looking to better understand the impact of these hugely popular wearable devices, ACE partnered with Inov8 Health to conduct a survey, which was distributed to ACE’s network of 58,000 ACE Certified health and fitness professionals. The 22-question interactive online survey asked respondents to consider three key areas as they answered each question:
- How can wearable activity devices positively impact your business?
- How can these devices help your clients achieve and sustain success with their individual health and fitness goals?
- In regard to your ability to most effectively deliver value through these devices to your clients, what gaps do you believe exist in the wearable devices, the mobile applications and the user experience, and the overall integration within the fitness industry?
Survey results showed that the majority of professionals are hearing questions from their clients about wearable activity devices, but do not always feel qualified or educated enough to answer them. Highlights of the survey results are:
- 72 percent reported that their clients consistently ask for insight and feedback on such devices, most commonly related to making the purchase, device accuracy and if they’ll help them achieve their goals, but only 51 percent of professionals felt prepared to answer those questions
- 75 percent of those who completed the survey said they would be interested in the capability to run fitness challenges with clients using wearable activity devices
- 71 percent of respondents currently own a wearable activity device and 61 percent of those who do not yet own one are considering purchasing one
- When asked what gaps exist with the wearable activity devices, the most common responses were “the inability to track all of my physical activity (strength training, recreational activities, etc.),” “accuracy” and “better consumer education on the use of devices (how to set up, how to use, etc.)”
What is missing from the data provided by wearable activity devices is accountability, which is why the fitness industry would be wise to embrace their use and develop a process through which the numbers can transform into programming and progression—and eventual goal attainment. For example, tracking a client’s step count and setting goals to increase those numbers—which the trainer can review during each session—can be a good starting point for helping a client achieve a more active lifestyle.
The key takeaway from the survey suggests that better education is needed to ensure clients and trainers are making the most of their investments in wearable technology.
“Wearable activity devices can monitor everything from steps taken and heart rate to calorie expenditure and sleep quality. However, it’s the trainer’s job to translate all of these data into a tangible action plan to drive sustainable lifestyle change,” said Cedric X. Bryant, Ph.D., Chief Science Officer at ACE.
Tom Futch, CEO at Inov8 Health added, “Health and fitness professionals can provide value to their clients when they are not in the gym by using the data to inspire and motivate them to stay active even when they are traveling or unable to have a training session.”
For more information read, “How Will Wearable Activity Devices Impact The Fitness Industry,” in the September issue of ProSource. The full study is available for download here.
The nonprofit organization American Council on Exercise (ACE) educates, certifies, and represents more than 58,000 fitness professionals, health coaches, and other allied health professionals. ACE advocates for a new intersection of fitness and healthcare, bringing the highly-qualified professionals ACE represents into the healthcare continuum so they can contribute to the national solution to physical inactivity and obesity. ACE is the largest certifier in its space and all four of its primary certification programs are accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA), the gold standard in the United States for accreditation of certifications that assess professional competence. ACE also plays an important public service role, conducting and providing scientific-based research and resources on safe and effective physical activity and sustainable behavior change. For more information, call 800-825-3636 or visit ACEfitness.org. AMERICAN COUNCIL ON EXERCISE, ACE and ACE logos are Registered Trademarks of the American Council on Exercise.
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