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But Britons’ competitive nature is helping to keep them fighting fit, with 53 percent of those with tracker apps admitting to keeping tabs on how active friends and family are. Nearly six in 10 claims they regularly compare their activity levels to keep motivated while 42 percent who track their well-being get more competitive with fitness when they see others “beating” them on apps.

It also emerged that of the adults who use technology to track aspects of their health, activity, 39 percent do so every single day. 

And 73 percent think the gadgets are responsible for keeping them healthy, while 61 percent reckon it would help them to spot health issues faster. 

Nury Moreira, the Healthcare Lead at the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) which commissioned the research, said: “Now we can track data on all elements of our lives, it is easy to see how active – or inactive – we really are. 

“As our research has identified, it can become rather compelling and if you miss a day of tracking your data you can suddenly feel lost or out the loop.

“People are more conscious about their health than ever before – whether it is for health purposes or to keep yourself organised and in routine, tracking parts of your life can really help. 

“While it’s great that technology can help keep you on top of your goals, it is important to ensure that fitness trackers are not changing behaviour for the worse – such as becoming fixed on reaching certain everyday targets.” 

The study also found that 56 percent of trackers claim to feel more empowered when keeping tabs on certain elements of their life as they enjoy the competition with themselves, while 32 percent are more motivated to stay active as a result of the data.

A quarter (24 percent) have even been annoyed if they don’t reach their fitness goals each day and 29 percent have gone out for an extra walk to make sure they reach their step count. 

More than four in 10 (41 percent) have also achieved some kind of fitness challenge or health goal thanks to their tracking device. 

Of those, 41 percent have hit 10,000 steps a day, the same number have lost weight and 32 percent have increased their sleep. 

It also emerged that 25-34-year-olds are most likely to keep an eye on their weight, spending habits and sleep the most but those aged 35-44 are more likely to track their working hours, what they eat and blood pressure. 

But of those who track areas of their lives, 42 percent didn’t realise how unfit they were until they started downloading tracking apps or owned a smartwatch or fitness tracker.

And now they track their health and well-being, more than half believe they are more likely to notice issues around their heart rate, fertility and sleep faster. 

Nury Moreira added: “Technology has become a big part of our lives and there is pretty much nothing you can’t do when it comes to your phone. 

“Wearable tech, in particular, has become so popular that there are not many people that don’t track some element of their lives. 

“Our research has shown that shareable data has now also driven some friendly competitiveness between adults.

“As long as this continues to make us all more aware of our health and wellbeing then it is great to see.  

“However, given the pervasive yet nearly imperceptible potential for surveillance, the need for transparency and security has never been greater. 

“It’s also important to remember that trackable devices give an overall picture of health and well-being but can’t replace health professionals.”


1.            Weight

2.            How many steps they do

3.            Spending habits

4.            Exercise

5.            Sleep

6.            Working hours

7.            What they eat

8.            Blood pressure

9.            Heart rate

10.          Calories consumed

11.          Water intake

12.          Menstrual cycle/ovulation

13.          Calories burnt

14.          How many books they read

15.          Alcohol consumption

16.          How much overtime they do

17.          How much screen time they have

18.          Time spent on social media

19.          Running routes

20.          Chocolate intake

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