New research shows that fitness tracking devices are now not just for young healthy people undertaking strenuous physical activities.
The Pureprofile survey of more than 1,000 Australians shows baby boomers and seniors are emerging as a major market for fitness tracking devices as they are taking up health technology and devices as rapidly as young people.
Walkers over the age of 60 make up the largest number of users of fitness devices, such as smart phone apps and wrist bands, belying the theory and advertising showing predominantly young people are the majority of users.
The survey found elderly exercisers use smart phones and wrist bands to track their steps while walking for fitness - averaging three times each week.
The idea that new wearable technology scares older people and that the devices are only worn by the young and healthy is simply not true anymore.
The other interesting finding in the study was that walking is by far the most popular activity with an average of 53 per cent claiming it is their main fitness activity, followed by gym/workouts (17 per cent), running (9 per cent) and swimming (5 per cent).
Walking is popular among people over 60 years of age, with 67 per cent stating it is their main activity, with 58 per cent of people aged 50 to 59 claiming it was their main exercise, while 46 per cent of respondents aged 19 to 49 years old said it was their main exercise.
Retailers and tracking device marketers are all missing a major segment of the market by assuming it is only young people who want to use these technologies.
The current promotion of these devices mostly focuses on young fit people undertaking strenuous activities, instead of recognising the concept that walking represents the most common form of exercise for every age group.
The research showed walking was by far the most popular activity among respondents, particularly amongst older respondents with two-thirds of those aged 60 plus claiming it is their main activity and 80 per cent of all respondents choosing walking as either their main fitness activity or at least occasionally.
Undertaking physical activity to improve or maintain personal fitness was high amongst the survey sample, with one in five people undertaking some form of activity every day and almost four out of five at least weekly.
Fitness tracking is no longer the domain of the Forest Gumps – it's definitely time to hit the road and count those steps.