ADDRESSING THE TRENDS : WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

Whether it be time or money, we’re all interested in making good investments. Chasing the latest fads can waste both our time and our money, quickly sabotaging our goals. This is why we design fitness rooms around trends, not fads.

“Now in its eleventh year, the survey was completed by more than 1,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide, many certified by ACSM, and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments. Forty-two potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM.” -American College of Sports and Medicine regarding the 2017 Worldwide Fitness Trends Survey

By addressing trends in your facility instead of fads you can have confidence that your investment will add value for years to come.

#1 TREND FITNESS TREND FOR 2017

WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

What is it? Wearable technology includes activity trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices.

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How long has this trend been identified in the ACSM survey? Wearable technology was #1 in the 2016 ACSM Fitness Survey.

“... Some business analysts have predicted that sales of the Apple iWatch® alone will exceed 485 million devices by the year 2018 (https://www.abiresearch.com/). Trending in this part of the industry now are smart glasses, with a predicted $1.5 billion in sales (http://www.juniperresearch.com/home), and smart fabrics and interactive textiles reaching sales approaching $2.6 billion by 2017 (http://www.strategyr.com/). It is unpredictable how wearable technology will advance through the next decade.”-  ACSM 

Why is it such a big deal?

Whether we’re recovering from a heart surgery or just looking at improving our performance, tracking our heart rate can have some real benefits. It gives us clues on how hard we’re working, if we’re allowing enough recovery time during a HIIT workout, how well are we sleeping or if we’re getting in better shape.

Tracking our activity helps us to track whether we’ve got the right priorities. Are we spending enough time moving each day? Are we making progress on our fitness goals? How did we do compared to last week? Wearable technology can help people to keep health and fitness at the front of their minds, instead of putting it on the back burner.

 

“Technology is now a must-have in our daily lives. Everyone can easily count steps taken or calories burned using a wearable device or a smart phone,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “The health data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user about their current fitness level and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.”

 

How can I address this trend in my facility?

This is never and should never be a “one size fits all” question. Factors such as space allotment, budget, goals, etc. should be considered and weighed. Here are a few ideas:

Get creative! Honestly, this is a tough trend to address and it’s been a subject of much discussion. The first thing to do is identify potentials benefits:

Multi-family & HOA: Increase community feel with motivating social interactions

Perhaps a board, whether it be a physical or virtual one, where residents can post their workouts or share a shot of their activity data for the day.

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Hospitality: Enhance guest experience

Can you take fitness outdoors with wearables? What if you provided guests with a wearable with built in routes to explore the city?  http://www.suunto.com/en-US/Sports-Watch-Collections/Suunto-Spartan-Collection/#products3

Health & Rec Centers: Provide motivation for members to increase member retention

Accountability is huge and wearables up accountability. Combine that with social accountability and the motivation factor goes up exponentially:

https://blog.gyminsight.com/3906-wearable-technology-delivers-new-fitness-essentials/

What about other areas? What if you’re a fire or police department: Can you use wearable technology to track your department's training? Medical and wellness: Are you taking advantage of the increased accuracy and comfort of heart rate monitors to monitor your patients?

How can you address wearable technology in your unique facility? Post your ideas below.

Give us a call or email if you’d like a little help!