Pure Telecom reveals 50% of adults in Ireland have used online games to keep fit

Pure Telecom, Ireland’s high-speed broadband and telecoms provider, has announced new findings from its inaugural Connected Lives survey, which show that adults in Ireland are spending €562M on online fitness and wellbeing annually. The research found that adults are turning to mobile apps to support their physical and mental health, while online gaming platforms are also playing a role in supporting the nation’s fitness.

The nationally representative survey of 1,004 adults in Ireland was conducted by Censuswide on behalf of Pure Telecom and explored the public’s use of online tools and services, including app subscriptions, health and fitness wearables, online classes and online magazine and website subscriptions. The research found that the average adult spent €143 on online fitness and wellbeing in the last 12 months, with a significant difference in spending between genders and generations. Men reported spending €213 in the last 12 months, compared to €122 spent by women. Generationally, Gen Z outspent all others, paying €191 annually.

Pure Telecom’s research found that 71% of adults have used an online fitness tracking app in the last 12 months and the same proportion have used a nutrition or food tracking app. Almost as popular are mindfulness and mental health apps, which were used by 67% of adults in the last year.

Reflecting the popularity of physical and mental health apps, and with many of them connecting to wearable devices, more than four in five (81%) of the adult population report to have used a connected health or fitness tracking device in the last 12 months. However, while many apps can use personal data to provide tailored recommendations and information relating to food and fitness, less than half (43%) of adults said that they are comfortable sharing their personal health and fitness data with such apps.

Other online tools used by adults in Ireland to stay fit in the last 12 months include video workouts, used by 71%, and online gaming platforms, used by 50%. This rises to 65% for those aged 25 and under. Furthermore, 39% of adults have paid for an online personal training session.

The survey also examined the relationship between exercising and social media, finding that 42% of adults are motivated to move more when they see fitness-related social media posts. Creating their own social media posts is also a motivating factor for one in 10 adults, who say that posting about it on social media is a key incentive to exercise. However, Pure Telecom’s research found that workout posts aren’t always what they seem, with just under one in five (18%) of those who post fitness photos online saying they edit them to make themselves look fitter, stronger or thinner. Furthermore, 15% of adults who post about fitness say they misrepresent how active they are online, while 14% exaggerate the intensity and duration of their workouts.

Paul Connell, CEO, Pure Telecom, said: “The digital world is transforming the way we do everything, including how we look after our minds and bodies. People are drawing inspiration and advice from a truly global fitness community, which is available at their fingertips.

“As the number and variety of wearable devices being produced by tech companies increases, so too will our reliance on the internet to achieve our fitness and wellbeing goals. As such, we can expect the spending on online fitness resources to continue to rise as people seek that ease and flexibility that comes with doing things online.”

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