GERMANY – One in three people ( 33%) are monitoring or tracking their health or fitness using apps, fitness bands or smart watches. 

The international survey by GfK covering 16 countries found that China is in the lead in terms of this monitoring, with 45% of the online population tracking their health and fitness in this way.

China is followed by Brazil and the US with 29% each, closely followed by Germany ( 28%) and France ( 26%).

Men tended to be ahead of women in this activity, although five countries stood out with having a higher percentage of their female, than their male, online population currently tracking: China ( 48% of women, compared to 43% of the men), Russia ( 21% of women and 17% of men), France ( 27% and 25%), Australia ( 20% and 18%), and Canada ( 20% and 19%).

The 20 – 39 year-olds were the most keen on tracking their health although about a quarter of teenagers ( 15 – 19 year-olds) and 20 – 29 year- olds said although they aren't currently, they have monitored in the past.

Over half ( 55%) of those who are currently tracking their health and fitness said one of the reasons they do it is ‘to maintain or improve my physical condition or fitness’ – making this the most popular reason internationally.

Jan Wassmann, global lead for wearables research at GfK, said: “These findings demonstrate the attraction that health and fitness monitoring has within much wider groups than just the obvious young sports players. Manufacturers and retailers can use these insights – combined with our point-of-sales data on purchases of wearable devices – to understand who are their real-life users and why, and tailor their products to deepen that appeal.”

GfK conducted the online survey with more than 20,000 consumers aged 15 or older across 16 countries in summer 2016.