Survey: 74.9 percent of US adults do not track health or fitness with devices or apps

By Aditi Pai

TechnologyAdvice wearable trackersClose to 75 percent of adults do not use a fitness device or app to track their weight, diet, or exercise, according to a survey of 979 US adults conducted by research firm TechnologyAdvice.

The survey found that 11 percent of respondents use a wearable fitness tracker, 14.1 percent use an app to track health, 14.5 percent do not track health but plan to start, and 60.4 percent do not track their health.

The surveyors asked a smaller group of respondents, 419 of them, who had said they do not use a device or app to track wellness, why they don't use them. Some 27.2 percent said they were not interested in tracking health and wellness, 17.7 percent were concerned about the cost of the device, 10.5 percent were concerned about the privacy of their data, 7.9 percent were not happy with the design of trackers, and 43.7 said they didn't agree with any of the reasons TechnologyAdvice listed for not tracking their health and wellness. 

TechnologyAdvice then asked this group if they would track health and fitness metrics if they were given a free, physician-provided tracker, and 48.2 percent said then they would be willing to start tracking health and 51.8 percent said they would still be unwilling. When asked if they would track health and fitness data if they were given a free tracker by a payor, 46.1 percent said they would then be willing to track their health, while 53.9 percent said they would still be unwilling.

The younger age group in both scenarios was more likely to track their health if they received a free tracker. TechnologyAdvice said the reason younger age groups were more likely to track in these scenarios was that they generally have less expendable income and also understand technology better than older age groups.

In August, TechnologyAdvice released another survey that found while 49 percent of patients know their doctor’s office offers a patient portal, 40 percent were not aware of a patient portal offering and 11 percent of patients said they knew their doctor doesn’t offer one. The research firm suggests that the number of patients who are not sure whether their physician’s office offers a patient portal is high because physicians are not properly communicating which tools are available to patients.