Aims: Employing the transtheoretical model of behaviour change (TTM), this study considers the effects of digital health tracking tools on users adopting and continuing healthy behaviours. The TTM’s five stages of change and 10 processes, as well as the model’s inclusion of constructs related to social influences, guide an analysis of changes in behaviour. Methods: An online survey examined the use of health monitoring tools and explored the potential predictors of engagement and perceived effectiveness of fitness monitoring tools. A total of 214 respondents were recruited that included students, volunteers through social media, and paid participants in compliance with a university Institutional Review Board. Results: Goal-setting motivations were found to be positively associated with perceptions of tracking usage for fitness goals. One of the most significant findings was that users of fitness monitoring perceive their use affects others in their lives. Conclusion: Findings indicate that behaviours related to goal-setting and self-efficacy are not necessarily reflective of users transitioning through TTM stages; yet, social support systems appear to affect goal setting.Social media engagement was not shown to be a factor; yet, how participants’ perceived that their health may impact others in their lives was. Future research should explore the role that sharing results may have in fitness behaviours, as well as considering the decision-making processes people experience when contemplating the purchase of a tracking tool and those who do purchase a device but discontinue using it.
Journal of Fitness Research / Vol. 5, No. 3, pp.46-56