Verto Index: Health and Fitness
This month’s Verto Index looks at the top health and fitness apps among U.S. adults (ages 18 and above) from Fitbit to Map My Walk. The fitness and wearables market continues to support a complex ecosystem of hardware (mobile devices, wearables, and GPS systems) and software (a constellation of independent apps and those tied to specific devices). For the sake of simplicity, this Verto Index looks only at apps (and websites, where applicable) that provide health and fitness-tracking capabilities. Note: we are currently unable to gather reliable data for Health for iOS.
The Ten Most Popular Health & Fitness Apps and Sites
Fitbit continues to dominate the health and fitness market, based on monthly user numbers. Despite a tumultuous year, Fitbit is still well ahead of the competition, with 27.4 million monthly users and a reach of nearly 13%. MyFitnessPal trails significantly, with just 19 million monthly users, followed by S Health (an app for Samsung devices), with just under 15 million monthly users.
As we’ve noted in the past, Fitbit is in a unique position among the other apps on our Index: it owns its own ecosystem of hardware (wearable devices) and software, while the other top-ranking apps have varying degrees of device agnosticism, designed to be used on smartphones or paired with other third-party devices or wearables.
An App a Day…The Most Engaging Fitness Apps
Like music streaming services, most fitness apps are designed to largely run in the background, tracking your activity as you proceed through your workout or daily routine. With this in mind, the average amount of time that users spend with the app is less important than the frequency with which they use it. Stickiness, Verto’s measure of user engagement, compares daily users to monthly users, and indicates how likely is a user to return to the service day after day – an especially crucial metric for fitness apps and others that want to encourage daily or regular user behavior.
Once again, Fitbit shines in this category with 36% stickiness: the average user engages with Fitbit 40 times per month, or more than once per day within a month. Map My Walk’s tracking app also shows a high rate of user engagement, with 32% stickiness and an average of 36 user sessions per month. And activity isn’t the only thing that consumers are interested in tracking: the Sleep Cycle Alarm Clock is the third-stickiest app on our Index, with 31% stickiness and an average of 19 monthly sessions per user – or nearly one session for every weekday in a typical month.
Who Uses Fitness Apps?
Verto Analytics looked at the demographic breakdown for four of the top-ranking fitness apps on our Verto Index: Fitbit, MyFitnessPal, S Health, and Google Fit. In nearly all cases, women make up an overwhelming proportion of the user base; almost 75% of MyFitnessPal’s users are women, and two-thirds of Fitbit’s users are women. Only Google Fit reported a near-equal proportion of male and female users. With just 2.6 million monthly users, Google Fit’s audience is just a tenth of Fitbit’s, but the app’s broad availability across the Android ecosystem has seemingly encouraged adoption by a more diverse user demographic. And if Google makes good on the release of its rumored Pixel smartwatch, it may be able to gain a larger foothold in the greater health and fitness landscape.