What if Your Fitbit Could Tell You When to Call a Sober Cab?
Anytime Fitness survey finds Americans are obsessed with tracking steps, yet relying solely on such devices isn’t enough to achieve their fitness goals.
March 08, 2016 // Franchising.com // Hastings, MN – Fitness-minded Americans are obsessed with steps, checking their tracking devices daily if not hourly, a recent survey found. But the same study, commissioned by Anytime Fitness, revealed a general lack of trust in the data users receive.
And those who regularly use tracking devices and apps would like to see them provide even more information, including hydration levels and blood-alcohol content. The survey, which involved 1,000 American adults, found the following:
- 62 percent of respondents who habitually use tracking technology would like it to tell them if they’re dehydrated or not.
- 23 percent wish their tracker could tell them their blood-alcohol level.
- 12 percent said they’d benefit from GPS capabilities that detect single people in their vicinity.
- 75 percent expressed some degree of concern regarding the accuracy of their tracking results.
Despite this skepticism, there exists an increasing reliance on activity tracking and wearable technology for meeting fitness goals. Ironically, many of those who depend on these tools aren’t exactly seeing desired results.
- 61 percent of respondents check their devices every day, with 15 percent checking hourly.
- 83 percent believe their devices play a role in achieving their goals.
- But nearly 70 percent of those who purchased activity trackers or fitness apps say their activity levels increased only slightly or not at all.
"Activity tracking devices simply provide raw data and, with some, goals that are either set arbitrarily or with standard calculations," said Shannon Fable, Director of Exercise Programming for Anytime Fitness. "Without interpretation of the data and personalization, it may be hard to see results. A trainer can help use the data to set baselines, establish realistic goals and craft personalized plans that will help the measurement equal motivation."
According to the survey, individuals who attained their fitness goals believe combining the use of an activity tracker or fitness app with some basic coaching or support yields the best results. In fact, respondents who met their health and fitness objectives were nearly five times as likely to agree with the need to combine supportive coaching with trackers or apps compared to those who failed to meet their goals. Furthermore, nearly half (46 percent) of those who worked with a personal trainer “significantly” changed their activity levels.
Keys to Better Results
More than half (57 percent) of the respondents said a "lack of discipline" was one of the main barriers to reaching their fitness goals. Nearly as many (50 percent) cited a "lack of time" as another primary barrier. Conversely, respondents who described themselves as "advanced" health and fitness buffs recommend developing a routine and sticking to it – and using a customized workout plan. Meanwhile, those just getting started on their fitness journeys agreed (66 percent) that a customized workout plan, based on their personal fitness goals, is what they needed most to improve their health and fitness.
"A goal without a plan is merely a wish," Fable said. "The difference between those who achieve their fitness goals and those who fail isn’t a question of character or willpower. Relatively few people make significant changes all by themselves. The majority of those who succeed get some form of help from others. It can be a personal trainer, a workout buddy or the friends you meet in a fitness class. But expecting yourself to be an instant expert on fitness without any formal training simply isn’t realistic. The first step in any successful fitness plan is to ask for help."
Fears About Personal Trainers and Exercise
There remains widespread hesitancy about working with a personal trainer, however. The survey showed some reasons why and revealed which exercises they fear most.
- Nearly 20 percent said they didn’t think they were in good enough shape to work out with a personal trainer.
- 46 percent said they would rather assemble furniture purchased from IKEA than work out with a personal trainer.
- 17 percent said they worried about being yelled at by a trainer.
- Pull-ups and chin-ups were the least popular exercise, with 30 percent of respondents listing this as their most feared workout activity. Jogging or running and burpees (17 percent) tied for second.
SOURCE Health and Fitness Survey of 1,065 US Adults 18+ and their experiences with exercise and fitness technology.
National Media Director
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