8 in 10 mobile users are getting fit with health apps in 2023

Anne Freer | February 10, 2023

App Business

Mobile fitness and health apps have seen a surge in use and with that increased marketing spending ever since the COVID-19 pandemic. And though downloads slowed in 2022, 81% of consumers plan on using apps on their smartphones and wearables in 2023 to boost their health. 

How people are using apps to improve their health

New research from mobile app experience experts Airship has found that more people in the US, UK and France are turning to mobile apps to support their health. 

One of the top ways in which consumers are using their fitness apps this year is by connecting with friends and family (27%), working out (26%) and improving their sleep (17%) and diet (16%). 

People use fitness apps to connect with others

Source: Airship

US users are also more likely to visit a virtual doctor this year (15%) compared to the French users (10%) and those living in the UK (7%). It seems that virtual healthcare can alleviate some of the pressure of a healthcare system strained by the pandemic. 

More Americans tend to use apps for nutrition and diet purposes compared to sleep. The opposite is true in France and the UK. Ten percent of US users will also be monitoring their heart and biometrics using apps. 

Gen Z are all about the apps

The findings reveal a distinct generational divide with Gen Z showing the highest intent for using apps to improve their health. A whopping 94% of Gen Z users want to improve their health through apps, followed by millennials at 90% and Gen X at 82%. Boomers are less inclined to do so at 65%.

How the generations use fitness apps

Source: Airship

Household income does affect how apps are used. Almost a quarter of people in low-income households won’t be using fitness apps compared with higher-income households. And yet, adoption rates of health and fitness apps are fairly similar across all income levels. 

Use of fitness apps by household income

Source: Airship

The research highlights that there’s plenty of opportunity for fitness and health app developers to win new users. However, user churn is always an issue. To keep users returning, app developers should focus on boosting engagement by offering the best user experience. Some apps also lack incentives or content which can stop users from returning to them. 

Key takeaways

  • 81% of consumers plan on using fitness apps on their smartphones and wearables in 2023 
  • Consumers are using their fitness apps to connect with friends and family (27%), work out (26%) and improve their sleep (17%)
  • Gen Z have highest intent for using apps to improve their health (94%) 
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