back to top
Tech

Apple Watch Users Are Working Out (And Standing) More, Survey Says

Time to stand!

Posted on

The Apple Watch automatically nags users to stand up every hour and alerts them when they haven't met their daily exercise goals. Are people actually heeding these wrist-sized reminders?

They are, according to a survey of 1,500 Apple Watch users released Tuesday.

Conducted by research outfit Wristly over a one-week period, the survey found that almost two-thirds of respondents reported exercising more often, longer, or both since wearing an Apple Watch. Of respondents who didn't specifically purchase the device as a fitness tracker, 72% said it had contributed to their overall fitness and health.

Interestingly, many respondents — 48% — said they hadn't used any kind of activity tracker prior to the Apple Watch. Three-fourths of all respondents said they used Apple's built-in workout apps to track their movements and fitness, while just 13% said they used an outside app like Fitbit, Jawbone, or Runkeeper.

"Some analysts and industry people have discussed the Apple Watch in the context of, 'This is a product that's going to appeal to people using Fitbits and Jawbones and Misfit-type products,' and the data we see says, 'No, it's actually attracting a very different user,'" Bernard Desarnauts, founder of Wristly, told BuzzFeed News. "It's attracting people who were not in the 'quantified self' industry."

But those customers' responses may reflect dissatisfaction with the relatively slow performance of third-party Apple Watch apps that, until recently, didn't run natively on the device. Apple's newest Apple Watch operating system, which allows third-party apps to run directly on the device, will presumably address such performance issues.

While the majority of survey respondents said they were satisfied with the Apple Watch's accuracy in tracking distances, active minutes, and heartbeat, many said they wished it had an integrated GPS so they didn't have to carry their iPhones during a workout.

Some technology reviewers have made fun of the Watch's constant reminders to stand up, and most survey respondents acknowledged receiving them at times when it is physically impossible to stand. That said, the majority also said they're actually standing up more as a result. And nearly 40% said they completed their daily "activity rings" goals — for standing, exercising, and moving — almost every day of the week.

Stephanie M. Lee is a science reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Stephanie M. Lee at stephanie.lee@buzzfeed.com.

Got a confidential tip? Submit it here.