Published on: 10-Dec-2018
Annual industry survey predicts what you’ll see in fitness next year
Won’t leave home without your smart watch, fitness tracker or GPS tracking device? If so, you’re not alone. More consumers and health and fitness professionals are using technology to monitor heart rate and collect other daily health metrics. Not surprisingly, wearable technology is forecast as next year’s most popular trend in fitness according to more than 2,000 health and fitness pros surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM).
“Technology is a must-have in our daily lives, and wearable tech can be an invaluable tool for those looking to get and stay physically active,” 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. “We can easily monitor heart rate, count steps, track calories and create plans. The data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user and their health care team about important daily health metrics like physical activity, and it encourages healthier lifestyle choices.”
Besides its expanding popularity, wearable technology’s rise to the top trend for 2019 may have been fueled by manufacturers correcting monitoring inaccuracies in the past. Thompson is enthusiastic about the broad impact wearable tech can have across the population. “From teenagers to seniors, the growing number of people using wearable technology has never been higher,” said Thompson. “That means more and more people have fingertip access to tools and resources that can help them stay active and healthy.”
Now in its 13th year, the annual survey helps the health and fitness industry make critical programming and business decisions. The survey provided 39 potential trends to choose from, including possible new trends such as virtual reality, community interventionist, and Access Pass. None of the possible new trends made the top 20 list. The top 20 trends were ranked and published by ACSM. Notable trends include group training, which maintained the number two spot; the continued popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT); a growing emphasis on employing certified fitness professionals and increased interest in workplace health and wellness programs.
The top 10 fitness trends for 2019 are:
The full list of top 20 trends is available in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019” published in the current issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®.