Fitness apps are getting a major workout during lockdown


Can't go to the gym? Customize your Apple Watch to fit your home workouts.
With gyms closed, people are turning to their mobile devices.
Photo: Meghan Holmes/Unsplash CC

We already know that video conferencing apps like Zoom are booming as people work from home. But did you know that fitness apps are experiencing a similar golden age while people try and stay in shape (or get into shape for the first time) during lockdown while gyms are closed?

According to app analytics platform Sensor Tower, global downloads of health and fitness apps are already up a massive 47% year-over-year in the second quarter of 2020. And there’s still one month (or a third of the quarter) left on the clock.

The report notes that:

“Historically, January has consistently been the top month for Health & Fitness app downloads in any given year, but 2020 has bucked this trend. Following a typical month-over-month decline in installs during February, March and April went on to represent record months for Health & Fitness app adoption, peaking at 339.7 million in April, up 83.6 percent from January and about 42 percent from March.”

April has so far been the best month of the year for downloads. However, it was actually May that generated the most revenue. Across both Android and iOS, users spent a massive $160.5 million on this category of app last month. That’s 5% more than in April and 14.5% more than in January. The fitness app that has done the best is popular cycling, running, and swimming app Strava. Installs hit 3.4 million last month, with revenue up 98.7% from April.

Apps have done great during lockdown

The fact that apps have done so well during coronavirus lockdown isn’t a massive surprise. “We believe the App Store could possibly experience a tailwind from the actions taken to limit the spread of coronavirus,” wrote Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty back in February.

When it comes to fitness apps, it’s likely that the number of downloads isn’t just down to gyms being closed, but also people having a bit more time to exercise as they work from home. Now that lockdown measures are starting to lift, it will be interesting to see whether the current explosion of interest in fitness apps continues.

How have your own app habits changed during lockdown? Let us know in the comments below.


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