Since the launch of the iPhone 5S and the iPad Air, health and fitness apps have become more popular than ever. One reason has to do with the M7 motion coprocessor chip that allows apps to track users’ physical activities. It used to be that you’d have to strap a pedometer to your ankle to see how may steps you’ve walked. Now, all you have to do is walk. Most people already carry their iPhone with them. If a fitness app is running in the background, it is tracking.
According to a recent report from Flurry Analytics, health and fitness apps are growing faster than the overall app market. Considering the games category has traditionally been the most popular subject in the App Store, this new trend is really moving.
The report shows that, over the past six months, the health and fitness category grew by 62 percent. This compares to a 33 percent increase in usage for the mobile app industry in general. The study was based on more than 6,800 iPhone and iPad apps listed in the Health and Fitness category and was tracked on a sampling of 100,000 iOS devices.
Flurry points to fitness accessories that Apple stocks on its retail shelves as contributing to the overwhelming increase in app usage. The accessories are closely linked to iOS and often times are designed for daily use, which means more time spent in the app.
Flurry analyzed the data and separated a group they called “Fitness Fanatics.” These fanatics are based on iOS users who spent more than three times the average amount of time in health and fitness apps.
Based on the number crunching from that specific group, Flurry was able to determine that women between the ages of 35 and 54 (and do a lesser degree, 25 – 34) who are sports fans are the Fitness Fanatics.
Women outshined men significantly. According to the study, women made up 62 percent of Fitness Fanatics as compared to men at only 38. On top of that, men make up 52 percent of the overall app using population.
The report also showed that young adults between the ages of 18 – 25 are least likely to be Fitness Fanatics and those who are most interested in social apps on iOS are least interested in getting off the couch and working out.
When Apple launches the Health app in iOS 8, the category will certainly grow even more. If the rumored iWatch makes it to store shelves, health and fitness may actually outpace gaming on iOS altogether.