iPhone users focus on health, Android device owners prefer fitness

Opera Mediaworks research

Opera Mediaworks has released a two-part study to show how consumers use their mobile devices to interact and engage with health and fitness content.

The first part of the study is based on the 500 million monthly ad impressions served on 400+ mobile sites and apps within the Health & Fitness category on the Opera Mediaworks platform.

The company found that iPhone users are more into Health (62%) than Fitness (58%) while Android users consume more Fitness content than Health (39% vs. 30%). Overall, Health & Fitness users are more likely to have an iPhone.

Interest in health and fitness varies greatly by country:

  • Users in Canada, Australia and the UK took the top three spots for being the most inclined toward Health & Fitness content, as measured by the ratio of impressions to that category.
  • Lack of advanced medical care did not prompt more use of health sites; while 11% of total impressions are served in countries with the fewest doctors per capita, that audience consumes only 1% of health-focused site impressions.

Midweek use trumps weekend, two different time-of-day patterns appear:

  • Midweek (Tuesday and Wednesday) is the peak period; activity dies down on the weekend (Friday through Sunday).
  • Health sites and apps have steady, high use in the early afternoon, though the most traffic and engagement happens around noon to 1pm.
  • Fitness, on the other hand, sees the most activity in the afternoon and evening, with peak usage and engagement occurring between 9 and 10pm.

For the second part of the study, Opera Mediaworks focused on the United States, which provides the highest volume of traffic from health and fitness sites and applications. Nearly 50,000 unique U.S. smartphones were analyzed and a 2000-person survey has been conducted in May 2014. Here are the findings:

  • Just 1 in 4 Health & Fitness users are “regulars.” Over 50% of all smartphone users do use their device to learn about diet, exercise or other health and wellness topics, but only 22.5% of that group does so more than once per week.
  • Women are more likely to carry their smartphone while exercising. Wearables, or fitness trackers, are still a fairly small market, but men are more likely to be using them (3.6% of males vs. 1.7% of females).
  • Men ages 25-34 use Health & Fitness the most, but watch the least amount of video. In contrast, women in the same age group watch far more video (e.g., TV, movies), and men in the younger age group (18-24) have a very strong preference for video.

You can download the full report from here.