Millions of Americans are recording their workouts giving fitness experts new insights into the habits of a logged-in population. Bobbi Rebell reports.
Fitness apps have become ubiquitous and are now creating a healthy set of data about the fitness habits of millions of Americans. MyFitnessPal analyzed the diet, sleep and activity habits of 65 million users and found some very interesting trends based on where users lived. Tara-Nicholle Nelson is the company's vice president. (SOUNDBITE) TARA-NICHOLLE NELSON, VICE PRESIDENT, MARKETING, MYFITNESSPAL (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "Some of the states, that ranked highest for healthy habits and healthy behaviors, were states like California, Arizona, Oregon, and Washington. We even saw Texas, which is sort of outlier for southern states, ranked at the top of healthiest states list. I think it was number four. And those states have a common theme of having weather that's advantageous to get outside and exercise." Walking ranked as number one activity, running number two, and riding a bike a distant three. The apps are making a difference in getting people moving says Felicia Stoler, a consultant for the American College of Sports Medicine (SOUNDBITE) FELICIA D. STOLER, NUTRITIONIST, EXERCISE PHYSIOLOGIST, CONSULTANT FOR AMERICAN COLLEGE OF SPORTS MEDICINE (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "I think these applications are wonderful. I encourage people to use them all the time, because I think it really helps people to be accountable to themselves, and back to somebody, like myself, who is a clinician, if they're looking to see change, if they're looking to see improvement. I think, that it's very valuable to have one-stop-shopping, where you can put all your data, and you can track that for yourself." But the apps can also be a distraction. Jonathan Sepulveda, is a personal trainer at the New York Sports Club in Manhattan. (SOUNDBITE) JONATHAN SEPULVEDA, PERSONAL TRAINER, NEW YORK SPORTS CLUB (ENGLISH) SPEAKING: "They say they are doing exercise, they look at the app, and then they stop what they're doing, and they spend five to eight minutes on app instead of exercising." He also worries clients get bored logging data into smartphones, and lose motivation, something trainers, like himself, can offer clients in person. But, even with his reservations, Sepulveda sees the strength of these apps, for instance, to promote customized workouts. .