Body Monitoring

Dirk Ziems

Body Monitoring

Almost half of physically active people collect digital health data

Over the past years we have witnessed a massive trend towards self-optimization. People are striving for perfect health and breathtaking beauty through exercise, a healthy diet, and preventive healthcare. In order to track the progress they make, they often measure and constantly control data like their heartbeat, the number of steps they make per day, their calorie consumption or sleeping habits. Using various fitness and health apps in addition to what is known as wearables – fitness bracelets, activity trackers, heart rate monitors and smartwatches – they often collect a plethora of data for this kind of digital quantified self. Health insurance companies also employ this method of gathering data and offer special bonus programs for those who live particularly healthy and work out regularly.

concept m und Research Now SSI have surveyed 1570 people in the context of a quantitative study on health, exercise habits, and diet. The results show that among those who work out at least once per month (n=1060), almost one in two (47 percent) uses a health app or health gadgets on a regular basis.

Fitness bracelets or activity trackers – like those by Fitbit or Garmin – are used by roughly twenty-five percent of the surveyed active people, followed by various fitness and health apps, respectively used by fifteen percent on a regular basis. Smartwatches come in third at 11 percent. “Conventional” heart rate monitor bracelets are used by only 8 percent. Smart sportswear – like t-shirts with sensors measuring the heart rate – is not very popular yet, on the other hand.

Younger people in particular make use of these apps and gadgets. 18-39 year-olds use fitness bracelets and various health or fitness apps on a regular basis. 64 percent of the people between 40 and 65 years however do not use any health app or gadget regularly.


The most popular form of measurement is tracking steps or distances – 76 percent of those who use health apps or gadgets collect these data about themselves. For many, this goes hand in hand with tracking their calorie consumption (65 percent).

About 43 percent measure vital signs like heart rate, blood pressure or blood sugar levels. What is striking in this context is that these data are more often measured by older people. About one in four people tracks their sleeping habits. Measuring calorie intake – for example with special calorie tracking apps – is mostly done by 18-39 year-olds.

As digitization progresses and the quality of digital data collection improves, such health apps or gadgets will certainly become ever more important. Apple will reveal their new 2018 hardware on 12th September – and will probably also present the new Apple Watch Series 4. People all around the world are wondering which new features for the quantified self it will encompass.


1570 participants were surveyed online from 22nd to 27th August 2018 (basis for the depicted diagram: people who work out at least once per month, n=1060).

Author: Joanna Czock


For further information please contact:

Dr. Martin Schultze

Dirk Ziems
Dirk Ziems ist Experte für tiefenpsychologisches Marketing und berät auf Basis von Markt-, Medien- und Kulturforschung weltweit Unternehmen und Konzerne in zahlreichen Branchen und Ländern. Als Mitbegründer der Global Research Boutique Concept M und der Marketingberatung Flying Elephant begleitet er Themen wie die Adaption von Erfolgsprodukten in neuen kulturellen Kontexten, das tiefe Verständnis neuer Konsumgenerationen in China und USA, die Transformation der Werbekommunikation in der neuen digitalen Medienwelt oder die Neuorientierung der Brands in Post-Corona-Zeiten. Dirk Ziems ist auch als Gastdozent an verschiedenen Universitäten tätig.

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