28 Dec 2023

Wearable fitness technology: A top trend in 2024

Wearable fitness tech, including smart watches, fitness trackers, and heart rate monitors, to remain one of the top fitness trends in 2024, according to a survey from the American College of Sports Medicine

Wearable tech in the lead for 2024

Based on the results of a survey carried out by the sports medicine and exercise science organisation the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), wearable technology holds the number one position among the fitness trends that will dominate 2024.

The survey gathered the input of some 2,000 clinicians, researchers and practitioners within the fitness industry to determine the trends that will have the most impact in the new year. Having been carried out by the ACSM yearly since 2006, the survey has found wearable fitness tech, including devices such as smart watches, fitness trackers, and heart rate monitors, to be among the top three trends since 2016.

According to the ACSM’s analysis of this survey edition’s results, the continued dominance of wearable fitness technology suggests increased interest in using this kind of fitness tool for community connection and social support.

“We know that social support is one of the strongest predictors of exercise self-efficacy. It is important for exercise professionals to leverage the capabilities of wearable technology to improve adherence and autonomy for clients,” said ACSM spokesperson A’Naja Newsome, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP. 

Wearable fitness technology

Credit: Unsplash

Runners up: Worksite health and fitness for seniors

Behind wearables, the survey identified worksite health promotion as the second-most dominant trend on the fitness landscape for 2024. The ACSM claims that this tendency shows a direct correlation between employees going back to work in the office after the pandemic and the development of work-related programmes to increase employee wellness.

The third position within the survey’s predictions for the new year was the trend towards fitness for older adults. The ACSM says that this demonstrates that the Baby Boomer generation is now entering into the retirement age and adopting a lifestyle that focuses on fitness.

In the ACSM’s view, the top three trends for 2024 demonstrate a fitness panorama in which people remain focused on the potential of wearable tech, more employers are considering the benefits of healthy employees, and older adults make up an increasing proportion of the population in need of physical activity. 

“We are noticing that exercise professionals prioritise health-related outcomes of fitness programmes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we are starting to see fitness being used to reduce symptoms of mental illness and to increase health related quality of life,” said Dr Newsome. 

Other leading fitness trends for 2024

Apart from the top three, the survey discerned other important fitness tendencies that are set to be predominate in the new year. The exercise for weight loss trend, for example, which will see weight loss programmes such as dieting and culinary interventions incorporated alongside an exercise routine, came in in fourth place.

Other big trends include the growth of mobile exercise apps that help users with their exercise performance, or programming; exercise for mental health and improving mental well-being through physical activity; youth athletic development that engages young people in sports and related activities, and personal training, including goal-setting and fitness assessment.

Worldwide trends

With findings drawn from the combination of the ACSM’s Worldwide Fitness Trends and Fitness Trends from Around the Globe, the new ACSM survey, the organisation claims, provides a wide-ranging and regionally relevant perspective of fitness trends across the globe.

In addition, the authors of the survey also organised the individual trends into thematic categories: Digital Technology, Exercise Setting, Special Populations, Programming, Fitness Business Model, Medical Fitness and Training Modality. 

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