Just like so many other sectors and industries over the past two years, health and fitness was majorly shaken up by the Coronavirus pandemic.
The closure of gyms meant that the most common way for people to exercise was taken away. That coupled with a newfound interest in our own physical and mental health among the wider population means that different types of training and products have become more popular.
Wearable health and fitness devices are products such as Apple Watches, FitBits, Oura Rings and a whole lot more. It's a way for people to not only track their exercise but also other detailed elements of their health throughout the day and during their sleep.
Whilst the concept of wearable fitness was hardly new during the pandemic, it is a sector that saw a clear boom. In 2020, wearable device sales rose by around 30%, which is highly unusual for anything given the global economic situation. They’re expected to be a $70 billion market globally by 2025. This is all according to the senior vice president of Samsung Electronics.
They weren’t the only type of product to gain popularity, but they appear to be the type that consumers have continued to stand by as much of the western world emerges from the pandemic.
According to a recent survey of 4,500 health and fitness professionals by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), wearable fitness devices will be the top fitness trend for 2022, despite being commonplace for many years now.
As the market continues to expand with over $90 billion set to be spent on wearables in 2022, the products are becoming more powerful and can collect more and more types of biometric data. Apple Watches even have an electrocardiogram feature now.
One major reason why wearable fitness has just continued to grow during and after the pandemic is that the forced time at home has caused many to take a lot more ownership of their health and fitness.
Those who may have been far too busy to do something about their physical state suddenly found themselves with empty evenings or even empty days. It was the perfect opportunity to improve your fitness and many felt they needed gadgets to help them do that.
As well as this, the fact a virus was sweeping the land meant people were hearing more and more about how their body world and how being healthier put you in with a better chance of fighting off Covid-19 should you catch it.
If you can afford it, it is not a huge step to go from monitoring your heart rate and your number of steps through the day on a Fitbit, to buying an Oura Ring and seeing how well you’re really sleeping at night and how prepared you are for the day ahead.
Another reason why wearable fitness devices did so well in the early stages of the pandemic is that it gave people the figures behind their exercise which were lost if you did not have a treadmill or exercise bike with sensor handles.
An example of how quick trends in health and fitness do not always stand the test of time is online fitness. In the same ACSM survey, online fitness was the top trend for 2021. On the 2022 list, it has dropped down to the ninth place.
Many trends and fads come and go in the fitness industry but wearables are one that looks set to stay. They were already on the up but it’s clear that the pandemic accelerated many people’s reliance on them.