According to a new report, it appears that the smartwatch and fitness band revolution is not quite as pronounced as we first thought, with only 1 in 5 Americans choosing to wear one.

Research conducted by Pew Research Center found some interesting information on the rates at which the American public utilizes smart wearables. This study had a sizeable 4,272 participants, all of which were asked about their wearable and fitness tracker habits.

One big factor determining whether US adults will be more likely to wear a fitness tracker or smartwatch appears to be income level. Around 3 in 10 Americans in households with income of $75,000 per year or greater are likely to wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker on a regular basis. That figure falls drastically to just 12% — or a little over 1 in 10 — if household income is lower than $30,000.

Around 3 in 10 Americans living in households earning $75,000 or more a year (31%) say they wear a smart watch or fitness tracker on a regular basis, compared with 12% of those whose annual household income falls below $30,000. Differences by education follow a similar pattern, with college graduates adopting these devices at higher rates than those who have a high school education or less, according to the survey of 4,272 US adults.

Pew notes that education level also plays a factor in the likelihood that a US adult will wear a smart wearable. College graduates are far more likely to wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker than those with just a high school education, according to the survey. Gender, race, and ethnicity seem to play less of a factor. Women are more likely than men to wear a smartwatch or fitness tracker — 25% vs. 18%.

About 4 in 10 Americans (41%) say it is acceptable for makers of fitness trackers to share users’ data with medical researchers seeking to better understand the link between exercise and heart disease, while a somewhat smaller share (35%) believes this is an unacceptable practice. Another 22% are unsure if this is an acceptable practice or not.

The research suggests that Americans are not so sure about sharing any collected health data with scientists or medical professionals. The report warns that there is “no clear consensus among the public as to whether sharing this information with medical researchers is acceptable or not.”

While this is interesting, the sample size could be considered far too small to give a truly accurate summary of the smartwatch wearing habits of the “average” American. Given that one of the biggest fitness tracker players is now under Google’s wing, we might see a greater push to get more of the American public with tech strapped to their wrist in the coming years.

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Damien Wilde

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