Staying active and healthy is always a good thing, but even more so in the current COVID circumstances.
There are many ways we can improve our health both physically and mentally- from improving our diet to walking the dog, to meditating.
How about the role of digital devices though – can they be used for more watching TikTok and Netflix for hours on end!?
For fitness fanatics out there, mobile apps are great ways you can track your heart rate, calories, and activities.
In an attempt to replace the exercise you would be doing in a gym or with others, more people have turned to the likes of Strava and Fitbit. However, have some areas in the UK jumped on board this trend more so than others?
One leading manufacturer of natural health products like Q10 tablets, Pharma Nord, used Google search data to investigate which fitness apps and devices have increased in popularity over the last year, and which towns and cities have seen the biggest growth in terms of activity advocacy.
The most ‘active’ places …
There were strong searches for these fitness apps and devices across the 53 most populated UK towns and cities. However, some locations showed more motivation to start their fitness journeys than others.
In comparison to all other UK towns and cities, Inverness accounted for the highest number of searches for fitness apps and devices. With 1,560 average searches per month, the city had the highest proportion of their population looking for fitness apps.
In fact, the people of Inverness searched for fitness apps 117 per cent more than the average person in the UK.
Behind the Scottish city was Chester, which searched for popular fitness apps and devices 80 per cent more than the UK average, and Exeter which searched 46 per cent more than average.
The most popular?
The market boasts a variety of fitness apps to download. However, some are clearly more popular than others. Across the most popular apps and devices, the UK public searched for Fitbit more than any other.
With 550,000 monthly searches, the smartwatch and fitness tracker fought off stiff competition from Strava, a dedicated running app, which had 301,000 searches per month, and MyFitnessPal, a diet and exercise tracker, with 110,000 searches per month.
Despite Inverness and Chester showing a keen interest in fitness apps and devices, some UK towns and cities appeared not to feel the same.
The Google searches found that Royal Turnbridge Wells was the least likely to search for the digital tools. The people of the western Kent town were 82 per cent less likely to ask Google for these apps and devices than the rest of the UK.
The likes of Newport and Swansea took slightly more of an interest in these apps; however their searches were still 77 per cent and 72 per cent below the UK average.
|Most Digitally Active Locations
|Most Active UK Locations
|Least Active Locations
|Percent Above UK Average
|Percent Below UK Average
|Royal Tunbridge Wells
And there’s more…
As for the core aim the public have for using these fitness apps, data helped to reveal this.
Alongside the known branded applications, people also searched for apps to help them with specific activities. The most common of these was ‘running app’, which amassed 6,600 searches per month in the UK.
Other than helping with their physical fitness levels, people were using apps for their mental health too.
In second place, searches for ‘meditation app’ and ‘sleep app’ each achieved 4,400 searches per month.
Throughout the pandemic there has been an increased focus on the importance of mental health.
The virus and the isolation of lockdown have caused considerable anxiety among the public. Using your phone to help improve your mental wellbeing and improve your sleep can be just as important as taking care of your physical health.
As for other apps that received high search volumes, ‘walking app’ also with 4,400 searches, ‘step counter app’ with 3,600 searches, and ‘cycling app’ with 2,900 searches.
As for the most populated UK towns and cities that were searching for specific activities, Lisburn accounted for the most.
They searched for core activity apps 246 per cent more than the average UK town or city. Meanwhile, Bradford searched for these apps the least, falling 78 per cent below the average UK search scores.
Using phones and smartwatches, maintaining a healthy lifestyle has been made a lot easier. They can track everything, from steps, heart rate, and even our sleeping patterns.
The past year has emphasised the need to stay active, and for those looking to start on their fitness journey, your phone may be the best port of call.