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Old Sports: A Father’s Day Gift Guide for Health-Conscious Papas

2 minute read | June 2015

Sure, the “dad bod” trend has taken the Internet by storm, effectively giving university students a chance to eschew exercise and opt instead for wings, pizza and kegs as well as the chubby physique that often goes with those choices. While this fun craze seems to be limited to the college crowd, real dads know the importance of living a healthy lifestyle, and these new “fit fathers” are replacing old stereotypes of beer guts, sloppy shirts and ugly ties.

A recent Nielsen Scarborough analysis looked at U.S. fathers of children under 18 years old and found that these dads are health conscious, active and digitally-connected. With Father’s Day around the corner, the analysis can help retailers and consumers alike—with crafting promotional ideas and whittling down gift choices, respectively.

Healthy Dads

Nielsen Scarborough found that half of all dads said that maintaining a youthful appearance was important, and nearly 70% noted that they are always looking for ways to lead a healthier life! And it seems a good amount of the near 20,000 respondents think they are accomplishing this feat. Nearly 60% of dads say they are in excellent and/or very good health—making them 12% more likely than average U.S. males to say so.

Gift Ideas for Health-Conscious Dads

Home Gyms or Accessories

Over a fifth of health-conscious dads belong to a health or fitness club. But they are also 36% more-likely than the average male to work from home, so it stands to reason allowing dear old dad to get a workout in while taking the teleconference call might be a good idea.

Sporting Equipment

Healthy dads are also active in the outdoors, and over 60% have hit up a sporting goods store in the last three months. The analysis found that these dads are 21% more likely than the average male to bike, 36% more likely to jog or run, 30% more likely to swim, 20% more likely to hike and 36% more likely to go camping. Among those categories, there is certainly no shortage of gear to purchase!

Fitness Trackers and Gadgets

It seems gadgets are the new power tools. According to the Nielsen Scarborough survey, over 70% of health-conscious dads said they are fascinated by new technology, and over 37% are more-likely than the average male to agree that they like to have a lot of these gadgets. And these fathers are well-versed in tech: 86% currently own a mobile device, and they are 28% more likely than the average male to own a tablet.


Nielsen Scarborough surveys over 200,000 adults 18+ annually in order to provide insights on the demographics, lifestyles, media usage and retail behaviors of the U.S. consumer locally, regionally and nationally. These surveys are conducted in both English and Spanish languages. The administration of these race/ethnically-representative survey treatments are based on ethnic composition in select markets and include Spanish-language interviewing and materials. Health-conscious dads refers to males 18+ who are parents of children under 18 and agree that they are always looking to lead a healthier life.

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