In the last few years, the health and fitness industry has seen an immense growth in various programs, apps and gadgets aimed at improving peoples’ fitness in one way or another. Some of these work by simply tracking your progress, whereas others are designed to act as personal trainers or to give you fitness advice. However, whether there is any real benefit to these apps and gadgets is quite controversial.

Who Is the Most Likely To Use Fitness Apps and Gadgets?

Research has shown that, the use of fitness apps has increased at almost twice the rate of other apps over the last year. While these apps and gadgets are being used across all age groups and by both genders, they are the most popular with women, people in their mid-twenties to mid-thirties, and in households where the total income is less than $100,000 per year. It can be speculated that they are particularly popular in these demographic groups due to these apps being a lot cheaper and less time-consuming than an actual personal trainer.

The majority of users report utilizing their fitness app of choice once a day on average and mainly for goal tracking. Studies have suggested that the reason why they are so popular seems to be a desire to self-improve and to get motivated to work out.

Do These Devices Actually Work?

While fitness apps and wearable gadgets such as the new Microsoft Band, Apple Watch and the Fitbit all sound great on paper, whether the use of these gadgets actually has any long-term effects is unclear. Some studies on the effects of mobile fitness apps have found that they are not effective at all, whereas others have found that they may have some value, although likely only when used in addition to a trainer. Whether this will also apply to the new generation of wearable fitness gadgets remains to be seen.

The Future of Fitness Tracking

While most new fitness gadgets are in the form of watches or wristbands, it is likely that they will come in all shapes and sizes in the future. For example, intelligent yoga mats that can sense your balance and weight distribution, smart fabrics that provide tracking technology as part of your workout outfit, and heart rate-measuring head phones are all expected to be on the market within the next couple of years.

In terms of medical applications of these gadgets, it can be speculated that they may have some positive effects on preventing obesity-related diseases such as high blood pressure, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases and vein diseases like varicose veins, spider veins and venous insufficiency, although further medical studies will be needed in the future to confirm this.