Americans are increasingly using smartphone apps and activity trackers to monitor their health, according to a new study from the Pew Research Center. From weight-loss apps to exercise trackers to pregnancy monitors, self-tracking with technology has become a way of life for 21% of Americans adults. But what about American kids?
Research has shown that self-tracking helps improve health outcomes, particularly those related to weight control, blood pressure and blood sugar. This is great news for those of us involved in the fight against sedentary behavior and it’s associated health risks. Fitness is already the most popular type of self-tracking, capturing 38 percent of the health app market (which itself is 19 percent of the overall app market). These tools will only become more mainstream and more robust as venture capital financing for self-tracking has been strong: investments in this sector increased 20 percent from January through September 2012 alone.
Despite the strong interest in adult self-tracking, investment in the children’s market has been scarce. It’s a shame because there are huge opportunities in the kids’ sector: habits formed in childhood are strongly linked to adult behavior. Buy an adult a gym membership in January, and chances are good they’ll fall off the bandwagon by March. Teach a kid to love physical activity, and chances are good they’ll love being active for life. Continue reading