Why Do Consumers Abandon Fitness Wearables?

Today at Wearables TechCon in Santa Clara, California, we attended a session by Dr. Steven F. LeBoeuf of Valencell, who discussed the major reasons consumers abandon fitness wearables. Some of the critical challenges in this category include education of the consumer on their device’s capabilities, and variations in the level of accuracy different devices provide. When polled, the majority of users who have abandoned fitness devices listed some surprising reasons:

“I thought my fitness tracker would help me lose weight—but it didn’t”

“I don’t really know what to do with the information I’m getting”

“I forgot to wear my fitness tracker so I just started using my cell phone instead”

“The battery on my tracker died—so I switched to my cell phone”


Additionally, not all wearables are alike and when designing wearables, not all body parts are equal. Once you identify your customer, you can better provide the type and application of data they need. However, there is a universal need in fitness wearables today to include fitness direct.

Three major uses of fitness wearables:

  1. Lifestyle—For those who make fitness a part of their daily lives
  2. In-Session—For use within a specific activity, such as running
  3. Health Monitoring—For ongoing monitoring of a specific health issue

There are three layers of UX in fitness wearables:

  1. Sensors—Can track activity or measure biometrics
  2. Assessing—Understanding how the consumer’s fitness is changing with their activity
  3. Directing—Creating a personalized direction for the consumer, using biometric data, activity metrics and a physiological model individualized per consumer

One important fact to keep in mind, is that each time you have a fitness device that is tied into another device, that market scales down by 10%