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« Are Health Clubs & Fitness Brands Paying Attention To The Emerging Connected Consumer ? | Main | Technology - A New Wave Of Interesting Applications & Devices »

What's Happening With Smartphones And The Fitness And Health Club Business

Late last year reporter Catherine Saint Louis , did a great story in the NYT titled Cellphones Test Strength of Gym Rules . Catherine kindly interviewed me for the story which basically made the point that Smartphones are creating a challenges for health club owners and operators. Here's a quote:

Gym owners say their members are dividing into two camps, those who can’t stand cellphones on the gym floor and those who see their phones as indispensable to their workouts as a bottle of water.

Its become a lot harder for operators to deal with the many issues surrounding new smartphone technology. Privacy and security concerns along with the division among health club members has created a real rift on this topic. Now comes this recent research: not surprisingly, more consumers are using smartphones to stay connected while exercising, according to a recent survey by the firm Lab42 . Check oput the cool infographic below.

The market research firm found that 51% of consumers use smartphones during workouts, with (33%) checking email or (43%) tracking their pace . 91% Listen to music on a mobile device during a workout (91%). The study focused on 500 social media users who place a high emphasis on health and exercising.

Respondents (33%) said they use apps to track fitness and food regimens, with 31% tracking similarly on websites. Many are also sharing their fitness progress with others (75%); Facebook is the most popular platform to do so. The research found that 74% of consumers believe technology has made a positive impact in improving their weight loss plans while increasing motivation (72%) to keep going.

What this means, in my view, is that increasing numbers of tech oriented Millennial members are bringing along there way of doing things. You might want to check out this post on the topic or catch up on some of my recent free research on Millennials Impact On The Fitness Industry, which identifies some interesting and important trends. The implications to business models and fitness brands is interesting: think Amazon versus Burberry.

It will be interesting to see how health club owners and operators continue to deal with this trend and how business models either embrace it or attempt to quell it. Tell me, Bryan O'Rourke, what do you think about the trend of smartphone use during exercise ? Is it here to stay and will it grow ?

About the author:

Bryan O’Rourke is a health club industry expert, technologist, financier, and shareholder and executive in several fitness companies. He consults with global brands, serves as a member of the GGFA Think Tank is Chair of the Medical Fitness Association’s Education Committee, is President of the Fitness Industry Technology Council and a partner in Fitmarc, Integerus, Fitsomo and the Flywheel Group. To learn more contact Bryan here today .

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Reader Comments (3)

At last you come to a stage when you say, right the weather and the politics are unpredictable as no one know what happens at the click of the mouse European stocks dipped in early trade on Monday, taking a breather following the sharp rally of the past few weeks as investors awaited details of expected new central banks measures to boost economic growth. Trading volumes were extremely thin, however, as UK markets were closed for a public holiday. At 0830 GMT, the euro zone's blue chip Euro STOXX 50 index was down 0.1 percent at 2,432.57 points, finding strong support on the long-term trend line formed by its 2011 and 2012 peaks. "On the one hand, you have people awaiting confirmation that the Fed will act, while on the hand there are persistent rumours of Greece leaving from the euro zone," Guillaume Dumans, co-head of 2Bremans, a Paris-based research firm that uses behavioural finance to monitor investor sentiment. "The two themes are at the forefront of investors' minds, and our indicator this morning is neutral, so (the) best strategy today is to stay liquid and play intraday moves." Euro zone banks fell, with Banco Santander down 1.2 percent and UniCredit down 0.8 percent. Stocks were expected to remain range bound ahead of the much-anticipated annual meeting of central bankers at Jackson Hole, Wyoming that starts on Friday. U.S. Federal Chairman Ben Bernanke has used previous such gatherings to signal further policy easing. Investors also awaited details of a plan by the European Central Bank to start buying Spanish and Italian bonds to help lower the two indebted countries' borrowing costs and ease the euro zone debt crisis. The Euro STOXX 50 has surged 13 percent since ECB President Mario Draghi said in late July the central bank was ready to do whatever it took to preserve the euro, sparking hopes it would start buying Spanish and Italian bonds. An early August poll showed many expect the ECB to do more in September to stimulate the weakening economy and counter high peripheral bond yields. But those expecting a fresh boost from the U.S. central bank might be disappointed, a more recent poll showed. The poll of 61 economists gave a 45 percent chance of the Fed announcing a third round of quantitative easing (QE3) after its policy meeting on Sept. 12-13. The forecasts ranged from chances of 5 percent to 80 percent. Eric Galiegue, head of Paris-based financial research firm Valquant, said any new round of quantitative easing from the Fed would not be a silver bullet and that stocks might have got ahead of themselves. "Monetary policy easing is becoming less effective while global growth is stalling, which is darkening the outlook for 2013 for the world economy," he said. "The slump in exports in Japan, Taiwan and Korea in July underscore the risk of a global recession despite the loose monetary policies." Germany's Ifo think tank said on Monday its business climate index fell to 102.3 in August, dropping for the fourth month running to its lowest level since March 2010. Around Europe, Germany'sDAX index was flat, France's CAC 40 down 0.1 percent and Spain's IBEX down 0.3 percent. Nokia, the world's No 2 cellphone maker, surged 10 percent, boosted by news that bigger rival Samsung Electronics had lost a costly court case against Apple. A U.S. jury found the Korean company had copied critical features of the hugely popular iPhone and iPad and awarded the U.S. company $1.05 billion in damages. Nokia and its software partner Microsoft have been struggling to compete against Samsung's Android-powered smartphones, which lead the market. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

August 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFirozali A.Mulla DBA

Can Greece that is having problem do what Spain is doing. I wonder? Spain will create a bad bank on Friday that will need to pay Spanish banks enough for their sour assets to make them viable without saddling the state with too much of the debt. The cleanup of Spain's banks, saddled with 184 billion euros in bad debt and repossessed property after the property market crashed in 2007-2008, has been central to the deepening euro zone debt crisis. Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy's cabinet will decree the framework for the bad bank - which is to be managed by the country's central bank and bank restructuring fund - as well as other new rules giving the government more power to take over ailing lenders. All the measures are needed to comply with the conditions of a European rescue of up to 100 billion euros for the Spanish banking system. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

August 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFirozali A.Mulla DBA

Can it work that is what we want to see? EU Commissioner Michel Barnier said on Friday that eurozone banks would gradually come under the remit of a new common supervisor with a complete shift over for all 6,000 lenders on January 1, 2014. Barnier is leading preparations for plans for a common supervisor, which was part of a wider agreement on letting the new eurozone rescue fund directly rescue lenders instead of forcing countries to seek a full bailout. There are disagreements between the 17 eurozone members as well as the wider European Union over how fast and how far to centralise the current system which relies on national supervisors. "We never envisaged a global switchover from one day to the next to direct and integrated supervision," Barnier, the EU's internal markets commissioner, was quoted as saying in the French business daily Les Echos. He said any banks which receive support from the European Stability Mechanism (ESM) rescue fund should immediately come under the purview of the new regulator, which is hoped will begin operations on January 1, 2013. I thank you Firozali A.Mulla DBA

August 31, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFirozali A.Mulla DBA

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