Covid-19: Fitness apps download increases by 20%Mumbai: A stressed India is downloading more fitness and meditation apps to stay healthy in the second wave of the pandemic.

While these app downloads have increased by about 20% in the past two months, some have seen a surge of as much as 50% since mid-February.

Restrictions on a wide range of activities in many states, work from home, curfews, families in isolation and high distress across pandemic-hit states have spurred the need for mental and physical well-being.

“In March 2021, there were 20% more downloads across apps in health and fitness categories across iOS and Google Play compared to the month prior,” according to mobile and data analytics company App Annie.

Arogya Setu, a contact-tracing app, remained at the No. 1 spot by downloads in India last month, followed by Co-WIN, which is meant for vaccination registration, and home workout and weight-loss apps.

“Among the Top 10 rankings as well as Top 10 breakout rankings (which measures the top apps by month-over-month download growth), Covid-19-related tracing apps, weight-loss and exercise apps dominate the charts as demand for at-home exercise surged amidst lockdowns and stay-at-home notices,” the analytics firm said in an email to ET.

With Covid-19 cases in India breaching the 300,000 mark every day since April 21, fitness and health monitoring companies are now also offering packages like online medical consultation, sleep monitoring and meditation courses, besides the usual fitness measures.

“We’ve seen a 15% increase in new user installs from March benchmarks as well as a 20% uptick in older users reinstalling and coming back to the app,” said Tushar Vashisht, cofounder of HealthifyMe, which is among the top 10 health and fitness apps ranked by App Annie.

“HealthifyStudio, our live home workout solution, has seen a 25% increment in the number of live workout and yoga sessions being booked, with a user booking on an average 5-6 sessions a week,” he added.

Growfitter has seen a similar surge in downloads. It has tie-ups with lifestyle companies that offer customers rewards.

“We saw 3 lakh downloads in the last 75 days and our active users went up by 50% to 150,000 in the last couple of months,” said Sanmati Pande, cofounder of Growfitter.

Until last December, the company had partnered with gyms but it changed its model in January and started a gamification model, encouraging customers to use the app for exercises and win rewards for achieving certain targets.

Pande said it is mainly the 21-45 year age group who spend 35 minutes on the app daily.

Health apps are now promoting a range of packages and keep coming up with new offerings including counselling and online medical consultation as the impact of Covid-19 spreads.

“Over the last 3-4 weeks, we have received thousands of orders for GOQii Health Services and there has been a 350% jump in home-monitoring devices, specially when oximeters went out of stock,” said Vishal Gondal, founder of GOQii.

The wearable device maker said its quarantine care service, which includes health monitoring sensors and services, has doctor consultations, live workouts and meditation sessions.




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