Wearables for Wellness Survey: Industry Poised for Significant Growth

The idea of wearable technology has really taken off over the past couple of years. But while some still struggle to find a practical purpose for wearables like smartwatches and wristbands, others are finding them extremely useful in one area in particular – wellness. Whether it be wellness-specific devices like the Fitbit or more general purpose devices like the Apple Watch, more and more health conscious consumers are turning to wearables to help improve their health and fitness. While few consumers have already added those wearables into their health and fitness habits, there is heavy interest according to reports like this one by PwC. So how many are likely to add wearables for wellness into their routines in the near future?

wearables for wellness

Wellness Issues

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest survey, 56% of overall respondents said that they consider themselves to be generally healthy. 44% said that they exercise regularly. And 68% said they consider fitness to be important.

However, 68% said that they would like to improve their fitness habits going forward. And another 68% said that they would like to improve their eating habits. In fact, 50% said that they would even be likely to make at least one purchase related to improving their health or fitness over the next year. And more specifically, 46% said that they would be interested in owning a wearable device that could help them improve their health and fitness.

Wearables for Wellness

However, even though a fair amount of people seem generally interested in the idea of wearables for wellness, few actually use them at this point. 14% of respondents said that they currently own a wearable device made specifically for health or fitness purposes, most notably the Fitbit line of wearables. However, respondents also named brands like Jawbone, Misfit and Nike.

But even the more general wearable devices like the Apple Watch can be used for wellness purposes if customers choose to do so. Overall, just 8% of overall respondents currently own a smartwatch or similar wearable device, most notably the Apple Watch. But Samsung and Sony smartwatches were also mentioned. Of those smartwatch owners, 72% said that they use at least one wellness related app on their device. Fitbit’s app was the most popular one mentioned, follwed by apps like Runtastic and Apple’s Health App.

Wellness Purchases

Over the past year, just 11% of respondents said that they’ve made multiple health or wellness related purchases aside from wearable devices over the past year. And 17% said they’ve made one such purchase. The most popular categories among those respondents include clothing and equipment. 50% said that they’ve purchased health or fitness related clothing and accessories. And 45% said they’ve purchased exercise equipment. 21% said they’ve purchased cookbooks focused on healthy food over the past year. 19% have purchased gym memberships. Another 19% have bought health related apps. 15% have bought diet programs. 12% have bought classes. 9% have bought training sessions. And 16% have made other health or fitness related purchases, such as workout DVDs and supplements.

Looking forward, 19% said that they would be at least somewhat likely to purchase a wearable device made specifically for health and fitness, like a Fitbit, within the next year. And 16% said that they would be likely to purchase a more general wearable device like the Apple Watch within that time period.

Key Takeaways

Aside from solidifying Fitbit’s place at the top of the wearables for wellness segment, one of the biggest trends that this data points to is that this segment is poised for significant growth. Even just over the next year, more people are likely to buy wearables than the amount of current owners. And even the wearables that aren’t made specifically for health and wellness are overwhelmingly being used for those purposes. So for companies that create wearables, focusing on wellness both in development and marketing could prove to be absolutely essential. And companies in the wellness industry could also benefit from offering devices or apps that help people improve their health and wellness, or potentially even creating ads that appear on those devices.

You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.

Photo Credit: Fitbit from Flickr

What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on May 13 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

Anne Pilon brings 3 years experience to AYTM as a blogger and journalist. She has a degree in journalism and marketing communications from Columbia College in Chicago and enjoys writing about business, marketing, social media, and art.