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Activity and Sleep Trackers

Building a Better Tracker: Older Consumers Weigh In on Activity and Sleep Monitoring Devices

Roughly 1 in 10 Americans owns an activity or sleep tracker. But do older consumers see these devices as valuable in their quest to improve their health and manage chronic conditions? AARP’s Project Catalyst and the Georgia Technology Research Institute’s HomeLab examined this question — and the market opportunity — by conducting a real-world study.

spinner image Active senior woman exercising, using fitness tracker smart watch
Caiaimage/Tom Merton

HomeLab uses a network of over 550 older-adult research participants to conduct in-home research and testing of products and services. They conduct in-home ethnographic studies to provide the most accurate and actionable data of everyday product usage.

For this study, participants 50-plus used sleep and activity monitoring devices in their daily activities for six weeks and shared their experiences, observations, frustrations, and recommendations for product improvements. Trackers showed promise for improving overall health with older consumers. Seventy-seven percent of participants reported trackers to be useful, and 45 percent reported increased motivation for healthier living. Usability issues, however, presented major barriers to adoption by older consumers.

This research is made available as part of AARP's Project Catalyst initiative. With Project Catalyst, AARP has convened the most innovative leaders in the health care industry to launch a pioneering program that gains valuable insights into 50-plus consumer behavior and usage of popular and new-to-market health-tech products, in order to help inform developers about how their products and services are working to improve the lives of Americans as they age.  

For more information on Project Catalyst, please contact For media inquiries, please contact