Consumers who have downloaded certain health and wellness apps are very loyal users. But overall the number of consumers downloading a wide variety of healthcare, wellness and fitness apps is slowing dramatically, says a study from mobile metrics tracking company Flurry Analytics.
For the study Flurry says it reviewed consumer use and downloads of an unspecified number of health and wellness apps, of which there are about 165,000, Flurry says. Health and wellness app users tend to be loyalists, according to the survey. 96% of users are using only one health and fitness app and over 75% of active users open their favorite health app at least two times a week and 25% of users access their fitness apps more than 10 times a week.
But over the past year overall use of health and fitness apps has slowed, Flurry says. For a period of three years from 2014 to 2016 before the niche became saturated, usage rates for health and fitness apps was growing at a rate of about 178% per year, although the survey didn’t break specific download numbers. But in the past year and so far this year health and wellness apps usage has only grown by about 9%, Flurry says.
“The largest subcategory, workout and weight loss, shows a significantly slower growth than in the previous year while the other major subcategory, general health, revealed stagnation in the last two years,” says Flurry Analytics manager Lali Kesiraju.
Driven by wearables such as fitness bands and smartwatches, workout and weight loss apps account for 73% of all health and fitness app sessions. “This represents a substantial gain from a 55% share in 2014,” Kesiraju says.
Other survey findings include:
- Studio and fitness content apps registered the largest percentage increase across all health and wellness categories. In 2014, studio and fitness content apps were accountable for 2% of all health and fitness sessions. By 2017, the share increased to 5%. “Users continuously declared that they want to arrange their studio visits through a mobile application,” says Flurry developer evangelist Toby Vogels.
- Fitness app usage can be described as highly seasonal. In the last months of a year, fitness app usage declines and hits rock bottom when the holidays approach. Dec. 25 marks the lowest activity with 57% less usage than the most active day of the year, which is Aug. 8. Usage picks up again in January after users have made their New Year’s resolutions and set their fitness goals for the coming year, and it builds up toward the summer, peaking in August. In the last three years, August has abeen the most active month by an average of 23% higher usage than the yearly average, Flurry says.
- Health and fitness app usage peaks in the morning and evening. People work out before or after heading to work. The busiest gym workout times are between 9-11 a.m. and 5-8 p.m. “Surprisingly, the highest app usage period occurs at around 10 p.m.,” Vogels “While some people are doing a late-night workout, others might be reviewing their daily activity or planning their next day.”