Date of Award

Spring 2019


Capstone - Open Access


Exercise Science

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)

First Advisor

Cynthia Ferrara


Introduction: Fitness and wellness applications are now the norm that smartphones come with the applications pre-installed on the device. In 2016 and 2017 wearable fitness technology was rated as the top trend in health and wellness sectors (Bunn et al, 2018). More information is needed to improve the utilization of fitness tracking technology to create a bridge between health professionals having their clients use the applications and the people building the tech. Methods: Healthy students at least 18 years of age at Merrimack College (mostly in the School of Health Sciences) were asked to partake in an online survey. The online survey asked my self-developed questions about who they are (age, full or part time student, gender), as well as questions about your current exercise habits and how they use the Apple Health Application. Results: Eighty-eight percent of respondents were aware of the Apple Health application on the Apple iPhone and 57.8% used the apple health application before. When asked about which features they would utilize in the apple health application the respondents recorded that they would mostly use step count at 64.1% of total respondents. 59.4% of total respondents chose sleep for the next most popular option. The recorded answers for the most helpful for tracking personal fitness goals listed 42.2% Tracking activity, 45.3% Nutrition, 7.8% Tracking Sleep, and 4.7% None. The question “Which is more helpful for tracking your fitness goals of future clients/patients/athletes?” recorded 45.3% Tracking activity, 48.4% track Nutrition, and 4.7% tracking Sleep. Only thirty-three percent tracked their food 3 intake using the Apple Health App or another nutritional application in the past 6 months. Sixty-eight percent never used the app to track food intake. Discussion: More research into creating user friendly nutritional tracking could be beneficial for health application tracking. Specific studies for the views on nutrition tracking should be explored in the future. Research into the use and views on sleep tracking could be beneficial. Finding out why nutrition tracking is so underutilized with these Merrimack College students. Conclusion: Nutrition was ranked as the most important application feature for personal and clientele tracking for health. Nutrition was also the most underused aspect of fitness tracking. Sleep was of the lowest importance for client and personal tracking. Nutrition tracking technology should be advanced more according to the listed importance stated from Future Health Science Professionals.