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image003Opera Mediaworks recently conducted research to discover if distinct patterns exist among the growing mobile health and fitness audience in terms of device used and activity across apps by looking at mobile ad-impressions.  There are significant differences across devices and countries.

Here, Opera Mediaworks MD, Mark Slade breaks out some of the headline statistics.

Mobile Health is a new category in the 2014 Meffys recognizing the innovation in this rapidly expanding area of the mobile ecosystem. Entries have just opened and judges will be looking at solutions that address affordable healthcare accessible to all and those focused on improving health system services and prevention through mobile technology and health initiatives.

Last week, we released a two-part study revealing how consumers use their mobile devices to interact and engage with health and fitness content. 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 research found that firstly, iPhone users focus on health, while Android users focus more on fitness, but overall health and fitness app users are more likely to have an iPhone.

chart 1

Interestingly, the UK was featured in the top three countries for being the most inclined toward Health & Fitness content, as measured by the ratio of impressions to that category.

Users are particularly active midweek, with health sites showing steady use in the early afternoon. However, the most traffic and engagement was found to happen around noon.

These findings are particularly useful for marketers looking to plan their campaigns, as the time windows with the highest volume may not always be the best ones for attracting engagement with their ads.

In second part of the study, the research focused on the United States, as it provides the highest volume of traffic from health and fitness sites and applications. We analysed traffic from nearly 50,000 unique U.S. smartphones and also conducted a 2000-person survey in May 2014.

In the US, just one in four health and fitness users are so-called “regulars”. While 50% of all smartphone users use their devices to learn about diet, exercise or other health and wellness topics, only half of those people do so more than once a week.


Women are more likely than men to listen to music, send and receive texts, emails and phone calls while exercising, while men are more likely to user wearables or fitness trackers. 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.

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This 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.

See the full report here.

meffys_entries_open_600Entries  for the 2014 Meffys are open now.

There are 16 categories to enter in 2014. Judged by expert panels of international journalists, analysts, academics and VCs, the Meffys provide companies and innovators with an unrivalled opportunity to be considered for the global mobile industry’s top accolades with winners announced at MEF Global Forum 2014 in San Francisco 17th – 19th November.