HEALTH

Mintel: Wearables contributing to an increase in exercise

BY Michael Johnsen

CHICAGO  — Many Americans are taking a proactive approach to their health and wellness as new research from Mintel released Friday found that nearly half (45%) of exercisers say that they exercise to prevent future health problems, including two-in-five (39%) who exercise to reduce stress. Concerns about short- and long-term health are a motivating factor for the majority of Americans given that more than two thirds (64%) of exercisers say that improving overall health is their biggest motivation to work out.

“Improving one’s health is the most common motivation for Americans to work out, with specific focus on future health and wellness," stated Dana Macke, senior lifestlyes and leisure analyst at Mintel. "Our research reveals that U.S. exercisers are inspired to work up a sweat to improve energy levels, mood and quality of sleep, highlighting that an emphasis on the overall health benefits of exercise may be a more impactful key message among marketers in the fitness industry,” said Dana Macke, Senior Lifestyles & Leisure Analyst at Mintel. “While goals such as improvement in overall health can be harder to quantify, fitness trackers can help measure a wider variety of goals, including number of steps, hours of sleep and minutes of activity," she said. "Even still, despite the popularity of wearable fitness trackers, exercisers are more likely to feel motivated when they run faster or feel stronger.”

Wearable fitness trackers appear to be a motivating factor as more than one-fifth (22%) of U.S. exercisers say tracking their workouts/fitness inspires them to exercise. Indeed, more than one-quarter (26%) of exercisers say that although they don’t currently use a wearable fitness tracker, they plan to use one in the future, and nearly one-third (31%) say that they like to buy the newest fitness gadgets.

Future physical well-being aside, American exercisers are also interested in aesthetics as looking better (44%), toning muscles (39%) and losing weight (36%) rank among the top reasons for exercising. What’s more, seeing improvements in body composition (46%) and fitness (39%) are sources of motivation for consumers to keep up their exercise regimens.

It seems the best exercise in life is free, as Mintel research found that nearly seven-in-10 (68%) U.S. exercisers walk as part, or all, of their fitness routine. Other top activities to stay in shape are also easy on the wallet, including running (30%) and bodyweight exercises (30%), such as sit-ups or pushups.

Once considered niche fitness activities, yoga and Pilates have hit the mainstream with almost one-in-five (19%) exercisers in the U.S. including these methods in their fitness regimen. Cardio machines are nearly as popular, with cycling/spinning (19%) and elliptical/stair/rowing machines (18%) used regularly.

“The three most popular forms of exercise have one important factor in common – they are all free. Cost is a barrier for the new wave of fitness trends, as only a small segment of exercisers have the money or desire to participate in boutique spin, barre or interval classes," Macke said.

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CDC: Flu incidence on the rise, particularly in the Southeast

BY Michael Johnsen

ATLANTA  — The flu is continuing to impact the United States, especially across the Southeast U.S. for the week ended Jan. 21 the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Friday.

The proportion of outpatient visits for influenza-like illness was 3.4%, well above the national baseline of 2.2% and an increase from the week prior ILI report of 3.2%.

All 10 regions reported ILI at or above their region-specific baseline levels. New York City and 10 states experienced high ILI activity; 10 states experienced moderate ILI activity; Puerto Rico and 17 states experienced low ILI activity; 13 states experienced minimal ILI activity, and the District of Columbia had insufficient data.

On a regional level, the percentage of outpatient visits for ILI ranged from 1.9% to 5.3% for the week. All 10 regions reported a proportion of outpatient visits for ILI at or above their region-specific baseline levels.

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Eating healthier, losing weight two of top three 2017 resolutions

BY Michael Johnsen

NEW YORK – This year the top New Year's resolutions among American adults all revolve around two main themes: health and money, Harris Poll reported Thursday. Most commonly, adults are resolving to eat healthier (29%), save more money (25%), lose weight (24%), drink more water (21%) and/or pay down debt (17%). Slightly less common resolutions are to spend more time with family/friends (15%), become more organized (15%), travel more (15%), read more (14%) and/or improve relationships (14%).

While men and women are equally likely to set any resolution this year, women are significantly more likely than men to say they’ve resolved to:

  • Eat healthier (33% vs. 23%);
  • Save more money (29% vs. 21%);
  • Lose weight (29% vs. 18%);
  • Pay down debt (19% vs. 14%);
  • Become more organized (17% vs. 12%); and
  • Read more (16% vs. 12%).

These are some of the results of The Harris Poll of 2,241 U.S. adults ages 18+ (including 1,536 21+ adults who drink several times a year or more, i.e., “regular drinkers”) surveyed online between Jan. 12 and 16, 2017.

 

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