A rise in tech for SA gym goers

A new survey has pointed to a rise in the use of technology for people exercising in South Africa.

According to pharmaceutical company, Pharma Dynamics, more than half of South Africans who exercise regularly say they have embraced technology with 5 in 10 using some type of tech-gadget during their workout.

Four in 10 respondents said they use a smartphone or tablet during their workout and nearly 47% admitted that they would probably work out more if they had access to their personal content while exercising.

Mariska van Aswegen, spokesperson of Pharma Dynamics said: “Technology can be a powerful tool in promoting physical activity and changing exercise behaviour. For years, pedometers, accelerometers and heart rate monitors have been used as motivational tools.

“Newer technologies such as global positioning systems (GPS), geographic information systems (GIS), interactive video games, GoPro cameras and persuasive technologies are also becoming very popular. Equally, Internet-based physical activity interventions and mobile applications can be used to promote and change exercise behaviour,” she said.

“For most participants, this was as simple as placing a smartphone or tablet on an exercise machine to play music or videos, while 13% use equipment that connects to their devices, as well as built-in computer or video screens.

The majority, (86%) also said having access to technology during their workout makes it easier to achieve their fitness and/or weight loss goals, Pharma Dynamics said.

The national survey was conducted among men and women between the ages of 24 and 57

Additional findings:

  • 19% exercise at home
  • 44% exercise at gym
  • 37% exercise outdoors

Technology gadgets which exercises currently use to enhance their workout include (participants could select all applicable gadgets):

  • iPod: 43%
  • Tablet: 30%
  • Smart phone: 48%
  • Pedometer: 17%
  • Heart rate monitor: 22%
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS) and/or Geographic Information Systems (GIS): 17%
  • Interactive video games: 4%
  • Internet-based exercise applications: 9%
  • Exercise equipment that connects to a device and/or equipment with built-in computer or video screens: 13%

Types of content most exercisers preferred having access to during a workout are as follows:

  • Music: 71%
  • Workout progress data: 33%
  • Internet: 33%
  • Workout videos: 24%
  • Sports: 10%
  • Movies: 5%

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A rise in tech for SA gym goers