Are wearables worthwhile? We think so


Keen to get 2020 off to a healthy start? Fitness wearables are everywhere now, and the right one can help get you where you want to go this year. Check out our Vitality expert’s reasons to get one, plus find training tips and guides for new and advanced runners.

In 2015, around 84 million wearables, including fitness devices and smart watches, were sold. Four years later 245 million wearables were sold towards the end of 2019 alone. This trend shows no sign of slowing down as wearable technology was rated first in a survey of fitness trends for 2020. With more people prioritising balanced lifestyles but also wanting constant connectivity, tech-savvy users are turning to wearables to help them make better informed lifestyle choices.

As the technology becomes more popular, devices are also becoming more accessible and affordable (especially when you can get up to 75% back with Vitality). Here are four reasons Mari Leach – Vitality biokineticist and go-to fitness expert – thinks that investing in a wearable is worth your while in 2020:

  1. Wearables can be powerful motivators to keep exercising regularly
    One reason people become demotivated to exercise is that feeling of putting in effort without seeing a change. Wearables let you access your activity data and easily understand it through simple infographics. By tracking your stats over a few weeks, you can see how the work you do translates into fitness – and this can be incredibly inspiring. There's nothing like learning that you just beat a personal best with a visual representation of your progress to keep you going long enough to feel and see the differences in your body.

    In addition, the world’s largest behavioural change study on physical activity offers a lot of evidence on the success of wearables when linked to an effective rewards programme. The study shows that Vitality incentives combined with the Apple Watch led to significant and sustained increases in activity levels. The average increase in activity levels for 400 000 participants on the Apple Watch benefit was 34% – that’s about 4.8 extra days of activity per month, or two years of extra life.
  2. They’re multifunctional to suit your needs and lifestyle
    Not keen on the gym? That’s ok – you no longer need to be tied to a facility or specific location to reach your exercise goals. These days, you can get devices that are waterproof and have long-lasting batteries and GPS tools, so you can track your activity no matter where you are and what you do, from trail-running to swimming or even climbing the stairs at a mall. They can also helpfully prompt you to move if you’ve been sitting for too long.

  3. Wearables help you watch out for abnormal health stats Most wearables measure basic vital stats. By learning what healthy ranges are – and what’s normal for you when it comes to things like average heart rate – you can detect irregularities right away and act on them before things get serious. There’s no better testimony than this incredible story of an Apple Watch saving Vitality member Ross Pengelly’s life.
  4. They often come with handy features
    Wearables offer helpful features that let you monitor all kinds of habits, from your water and caffeine intake to your sleeping patterns. This means you have one simple platform to help you become holistically healthier to live a more balanced life.

    Another feature most users appreciate are the stats that analyse things like your stride length and running pace and give you tips to improve your technique. This is especially handy when training for races like those in the Vitality Run Series – a series of races that are perfect for checking your progress and becoming a more efficient runner over time. If you want to test your wearable and are up for a challenge, use these free 5km, 10km and 21 km training guides to help you get ready for your 2020 race season.

If you’re ready to fuel a new or improved fitness habit this year, let us help you fund a wearable that best suits you, and make 2020 the decade of your dreams.


Get cash back on a new road or mountain bike, a heart-rate fitness device or a pair of running shoes with Vitality Active Rewards by activating one of these Vitality Active Rewards booster benefits: Bike Booster, Device Booster or Shoe Booster.

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