Feature Article - November 2007
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Survival of the Fitness

Adapt to Evolving Fitness Trends and Demographics—or Be Left Behind

By Kelli Anderson

That's entertainment

Whether users require specifically tailored equipment or demand more universal designs, they all want the fitness experience to be more fun. In the never-ending search to find ways to encourage more people to use fitness equipment, the increasing combination of entertainment with fitness isn't hard to miss.

From the primitive reading racks attached to stationary bicycles in the '80s to the virtual-reality-based "play" as exercise of today, entertainment has gone high-tech in its quest to make the personal workout more interesting.

Entertainment can be passive or active. Passive refers to those kinds of equipment where users watch TV monitors, DVDs or the Internet, while active entertainment requires physical, interactive response.

Seamless iPod integration in some designs now allows users to watch videos, control their music and surf the Internet on large LCD screen consoles.

"Entertainment is huge," Green said. "We're seeing manufacturers accommodating the user's preference. They're listening."