Digital fitness technology is making Britain healthier

The widespread use of fitness applications and wearable technology has boosted the health and activity levels of members of the British public, according to new research.

How apps and wearable technology has boosted UK fitness

Findings from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)’s first ever TCS Digital Fitness Survey have revealed that including smartphone apps, fitness trackers, wearable devices, GPS trackers and heart-rate monitors, 82% of those who filled in the survey now use some kind of fitness technology.

Three quarters of those surveyed said that they exercise more since using fitness technology; one in ten said that they exercise at least twice as frequently, with a quarter exercising at least once more per week. All boosted due to digital technologies.

Shankar Narayanan, Country Head, UK & Ireland, TCS, said, “At TCS, we believe that sport is a fantastic example of how digital technology can fundamentally transform all aspects of society. Social media, smartphone applications, fitness trackers and wearables are combining to give amateur athletes a wealth of data and insight to help guide their preparation and boost performance.”

Wearable technology can be used to cheat results

One in ten of those surveyed did admit to putting their fitness trackers on their pet to make it look like they had taken more steps or travelled further. As well as using pets to boost their fitness stats, 10% of people admitted to putting their fitness tracker on a child to boost their statistics.

Baroness Tanni Grey-Thompson DBE, former Paralympic and London Marathon champion said, “The research from TCS suggests that these fitness technologies are having a real, and hugely positive, impact on people’s health and fitness. Being able to track and analyse their own fitness data is motivating people to exercise more regularly and to become more active. This can only be a good thing – even if a small minority do admit to using their children or family pets to artificially boost their stats!”

The impact on positive behaviour

With the ease of digital technologies, and how accessible they have become, from free apps, to expensive wearables, more people are integrating them into their lives, and this is affecting behaviour. 59% of those surveyed said that their fitness technology motivates them to train harder, with 57% saying that it motivates them to exercise more regularly. The vast majority of those surveyed (93%) said that using fitness technology has led to a change in their health and fitness behaviour.


Adapted from a press release by Jordan Platt