The first part of the study is based on the 500 million monthly ad impressions served on 400+ mobile sites and apps within the Health & Fitness category on the Opera Mediaworks platform. We define health sites and applications as the sub-category focusing on medical and healthy lifestyle issues. Fitness sites are those catering to exercise interests or weight control.
The company found that:
iPhone users focus on health, Android more on fitness
Health & Fitness users are more likely to have an iPhone.
However, iPhone users are more into Health (62%) than Fitness (58%) while Android users consume more Fitness content than Health (39% vs. 30%).
Interest in health and fitness varies greatly by country
Several Commonwealth countries (Canada, Australia and the UK) took the top three spots for being the most inclined toward Health & Fitness content, as measured by the ratio of impressions to that category.
Lack of advanced medical care did not prompt more use of health sites; while 11% of total impressions are served in countries with the fewest doctors per capita, that audience consumes only 1% of health-focused site impressions.
Midweek use trumps weekend, two different time-of-day patterns appear
Midweek (Tuesday and Wednesday) is the peak period; activity dies down on the weekend (Friday through Sunday).
Health sites and apps have steady, high use in the early afternoon, though the most traffic and engagement happens around noon to 1pm.
Fitness, on the other hand, sees the most activity in the afternoon and evening, with peak usage and engagement occurring between 9 and 10pm.
For the second part of the study, Opera Mediaworks focused on the United States, as it provides the highest volume of traffic from health and fitness sites and applications. The company analyzed traffic from nearly 50,000 unique U.S. smartphones and also conducted a 2000-person survey in May 2014.
Just 1 in 4 Health & Fitness users are regulars. Over 50% of all smartphone users do use their device to learn about diet, exercise or other health and wellness topics, but only 22.5% of that group does so more than once per week.
Fitness fans and Health readers have different secondary content preferences. When theyre not using exercise apps, Fitness users are likely to focus their attention on Entertainment and Productivity categories. Health users are most likely to be engaged in Social Media activities and on News sites.
Women are more likely to carry their smartphone while exercising. They are more likely than men to listen to music, send and receive texts, emails and phone calls. Wearables, or fitness trackers, are still a fairly small market, but men are more likely to be using them (3.6% of males vs. 1.7% of females).
Men ages 25-34 use Health & Fitness the most, but watch the least amount of video. In contrast, women in the same age group watch far more video (e.g., TV, movies), and men in the younger age group (18-24) have a very strong preference for video.
The report was released just ahead of one of the largest gatherings of healthcare communications professionals at the Lions Health event in Cannes, France. The remainder of the survey findings will be released in July, as part of a special Interactive Advertising Bureau (IAB) event.