Is Your Fitness Business Making the Most of Wearable Technology?
Heralded as “the future of fitness," wearables are fixtures on lists of the hottest contemporary fitness trends. Tracking everything from physical activity to heart rate to quality of sleep, these smart devices are revolutionizing the fitness industry. But is your fitness business making the most of them? Here’s a closer look at the wearables phenomenon, along with tips for gyms and health clubs looking to maximizing their potential.
“The terms ‘wearable technology’, ‘wearable devices’, and ‘wearables’ all refer to electronic technologies or computers that are incorporated into items of clothing and accessories which can comfortably be worn on the body,” says WearableDevices.com. Offering much of the same computing and biofeedback technology as smartphones, tablets, and computers, wearables offer a breadth and depth of fitness monitoring capabilities.
But where do wearables fit into today’s fitness industry? “Members aren’t just going to the gym to get fit -- they’re downloading apps, they’re tracking everything with internet-connected gear, and it’s all in the cloud,” says Netpulse.
Certainly, wearables have benefits for gym-goers, but they also have benefits for fitness businesses. For starters, they provide data that facilitates greater member understanding. For example, proposes Inc., “Gyms can identify which members have a propensity to buy based on their behavior, giving them the ability to send the right member the right message at the right time and at the right price. Similarly, gyms can identify which members are likely to quit the gym and intervene with measures to keep them engaged, whether that's a free personal training session, access to group class to increase community, or a simple consultation.”
Data from these devices can also be used to increase retention, as well as to enhance personal training and other types of paid programming. Wearables also add an element of fun and engagement thanks to everything from gamification to social amplification.
Making the Most of Wearables
It’s not just a matter, however, of whether or not your gym embraces wearable technology. Research indicates that harnessing its full potential -- both in terms of your members and your fitness business -- takes something more.
Explains EXOS, “To see the true impact of wearables, people have to know how to interpret the information and what to do with it. That’s where trainers and coaches can make a difference. In one study from Indiana University, 90 percent of participants said even though both their activity tracker and their coach were helpful over a 10-week training period, it was the combination of both that helped them maintain their goals over time.”
In other words, it's not enough to merely offer members access to technology. Health clubs must also be prepared to teach them to use this technology in the ways that best support their wants, needs and goals.
Another way of looking at it, according to EXOS performance specialist Cody Carter? “I think if a wearable can be our assistant coach, that can be a game changer,” he says.
Perhaps Club Industry put it best in declaring, “With successes such as improved membership retention, engagement and motivated members, many club owners who use technology at their gyms, have discovered that wearable technology is much more than a trend; it is here to stay.” Which begs the question: Has your gym gotten in on the wearables movement yet, and if so are you using it to its fullest potential? Request a demo today to learn more about what the Accurofit System can do for you.