Digital Fitness Tech Is Making Us Healthier


I’m a frequent user of fitness tech – FitBit, Polar Heart Rate Monitor, Garmin Run Tracker, MyFitnessPal, MapMyRun.. and for me, it motivates me to train harder and more frequently.

Recently, the TCS (Tata Consultancy Services), who were the official technology partner of the Virgin London Marathon, announced the results of the first ever TCS Digital Fitness Survey.

The research reveals how the widespread use of fitness applications and wearable technology is boosting the health and activity levels of the British public.

TCS surveyed 2,000 British recreational athletes to examine the impact that digital fitness technologies, such as smartphone applications and wearable fitness trackers, are having on the UK’s health and fitness.


Key findings from the research include:

  • 82 percent of those surveyed now use some kind of fitness technology, including smartphone apps, fitness trackers, wearable devices, GPS trackers and heart-rate monitors
  • Three quarters of those surveyed say they exercise more since using fitness technology; one in ten say they exercise at least twice as frequently, with a quarter exercising at least once more per week
  • Four in ten people say that since using fitness technology to track activity, they will take the stairs instead of using a lift or escalator. Women are significantly more likely to do this (49 percent) than men (37 percent)
  • The survey found that men are likely to spend more than women. The average male runner has spent £93 on fitness technology overall, compared to £72 for the average female.
  • Despite a perception that fitness technology is used to brag about exercise on social media, just 18 percent of respondents said that have shared their fitness data on social media: men are more likely to do this than women (21 percent compared to 16 percent)
  • One in ten people have put their fitness tracker on their pet to make it look like they have taken more steps or travelled further; equally, 10 percent of people admit to putting their fitness tracker on a child to boost their statistics

About the research

The TCS Digital Fitness Survey is based on a survey of 2,000 UK recreational runners. The fieldwork was conducted by Censuswide in March 2016.

I’ve spent quite a bit on fitness technology! I was sent my Fitbit to review, but I bought a heart rate monitor and a Garmin watch for running. I’m very tempted to get an Apple Watch, too!

I just love the personalised data, especially on my heart rate monitor. I hate going to the gym without it because it encourages me to push myself harder to keep my heart rate up, especially when doing weights.

I also do challenges on the FitBit app with friends, where we see who gets the most steps. It’s really motivating to get more steps in to beat a friend!

I’ve never thought about putting a fitness tracker on a pet though, haha.

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