Wearable technology, mobile exercise apps named top fitness trends for 2019

Thanks to the rising popularity of smart watches, heart monitors and wearables, the technology was recently ranked as the top fitness trend for 2019.

Health and fitness professionals believe wearable technology will be the No. 1 fitness trend next year, according to a recent survey published in the American College of Sports and Medicine Health & Fitness Journal. Mobile exercise applications were also listed as a top trend, coming in at No. 13.

Consumers in the United States have embraced the use of digital health tools over the last several years. Nearly 90 percent of Americans said they used at least one digital health tool, like telemedicine, wearables and online technology, in 2017, according to a recent survey. In 2015, 80 percent of Americans said they used at least one digital tool.

The full rankings include:

  1. Wearable technology (fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking devices)
  2. Group training
  3. High-intensity interval training (HIIT)
  4. Fitness programs for older adults
  5. Bodyweight training
  6. Employing certified fitness professionals
  7. Yoga
  8. Personal training
  9. Functional fitness training
  10. Exercise is medicine
  11. Health/wellness coaching
  12. Exercise for weight loss
  13. Mobile exercise apps
  14. Mobility/myofascial devices
  15. Worksite health promotion and workplace well-being programs
  16. Outcome measurements
  17. Outdoor activities
  18. Licensure for fitness professionals
  19. Small group personal training
  20. Postrehabilitation classes

This was the 13th annual survey of fitness trends, which is ranked by health and fitness professionals worldwide. The survey had a total of 2,038 respondents, who chose between 39 trends.

“The survey was designed to confirm or to introduce new trends (not fads) that have a perceived positive impact on the industry according to the international respondents,” the report said. “By using this survey construct, some of the trends identified in earlier surveys could predictably appear for several years.”

In the 2018 survey, wearable technology was listed as the No. 3 trend, and was the No. 1 trend for 2016 and 2017. Professionals speculated that the correction of monitoring inaccuracies of the past may have provided a boost for wearables in the rankings.