Mobile fitness apps – further information The ever increasing availability of wearable devices and fitness trackers has pushed mobile fitness apps into the limelight. Among global wearable sales, health and fitness trackers have ranked only behind smartwatches with a projected 38 million global unit sales in 2016. These wearable devices require designated mobile apps to sync with users’ smartphone or tablet devices in order to keep users up to date on the go. One of the most popular health tracking devices is the Fitbit – the company sold more than 22 million units of its various health and exercise tracking devices in 2016, up from 21 million unit sales in 2015. Fitbit’s mobile app and dashboard enhance the usability of the device and provide users with many different custom metrics they can track.
Other mobile health and fitness apps do not require extra hardware but take advantage of the smartphone environment. Popular fitness apps such as Runtastic or Runkeeper can track users’ running goals by using the inbuilt GPS function, and diet & nutrition apps frequently use the phone’s camera to scan barcodes of food products to provide users with an accurate calorie count.
Harnessing mobile users familiarity with mobile apps has led to many new models of exercise based on gamification – a popular example is running app Zombies, Run!, which transports the player into a post-apocalyptic world where they have to, well, run. And fast, otherwise they will get eaten by zombies. Overall, this varied and customizable approach to exercise might be an effective counter to the increasingly sedentary lifestyle of adults in the United States.