Insight of the week: Tracking the fitness trackers

With a glorious start to the summer this year, filled with long warm days, for some of us this can be the prompt we need to get outdoors and active. An increasingly popular motivational prop for trying to keep healthy is the fitness and activity tracker. Latest insights from Kantar Media’s TGI study of consumer behaviour reveal that in the Republic of Ireland, 7% of adults (quarter of a million people) have one already, with plenty of growth potential remaining.

It is not the youngest adults who are most likely to have an activity tracker, but rather those who are a little older. Our insights reveal that those aged 35-44 are 55% more likely to have such a device and those in the TGI Lifestage group ‘Primary School Parents’ (live with son or daughter and youngest child aged 5-9) are 96% more likely to have one.

It is the more educated and affluent who are particularly likely to invest in an activity tracker, with 37% of owners educated at least to degree level (vs 22% of adults as a whole) and 15% of them having a family income of €75,000 or more, compared to 7% of adults overall.

This is a group more likely to have the latest technology generally, thus making them a key target for advertisers within the wider tech space. For example, they are over twice as likely as the average adult to own a smart watch and 48% more likely to own a tablet computer.

Indeed, activity tracker owners are particularly likely to be self-confessed tech lovers. TGI data reveals they are 52% more likely to agree ‘I love to buy new gadgets and appliances’. They are also especially likely to like to try new things. They are 55% more likely to say they are tempted to buy products they have seen advertised and 49% more likely to like to try new drinks.

They also show a greater interest in health and fitness than adults generally. They are 69% more likely to agree ‘I always think of the calories in what I eat’, 51% more likely to agree ‘I always check the nutritional content of food’ and 50% more likely to agree ‘Most of the time I’m trying to lose weight’.

Activity tracker owners are particularly likely to be amongst the top fifth of consumers of cinema (69% more likely) and radio (30% more likely). Their most popular film types are thrillers and mysteries, cited as of particular interest by 15% of activity tracker owners, followed by science fiction and action/adventure. When it comes to radio, the music types they most like to listen to are 90s (31% specially choose to listen) and 80s (30%).

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