Does the Definition of Strong Need Rethinking?

What do you think of when you hear the word “strong?” An image of a weightlifter, Olympian, or someone that can withstand a lot of physical exertion? Strong is a word that evokes images of physical fitness and being “tough.” 

However, new research conducted by Course5 Intelligence on behalf of Fitbit in August and November 2021 in the UK,* 83 percent of Brits agree that definitions of strong should encompass more than attributes of physical strength and as a result, almost 7 in 10 UK respondents (67 percent) believe its primary definition in the dictionary needs to be updated. 

This research comes as part of Fitbit’s latest campaign, “What’s Strong with You,” which celebrates multidimensional ways in which people define their personal strength beyond the traditional physical sense, be it emotional, spiritual, or mental. The findings address the disparity between how “strong” is understood by the masses and how it’s perpetuated by dictionaries and sources of information. 

Over half (54 percent) of Brits surveyed recognise that the definition of true strength is a combination of mental and physical traits while a third (35 percent) define it as the ability to deal with the stresses and challenges that life can present us with. Like Brits, Fitbit would like to see the perception of strong expanded to encompass a more holistic and inclusive meaning, both physical and mental.

When it comes to how people build mental strength to feel ready to take on each day, sleep comes out on top with 71 percent of Brits surveyed saying a good night’s rest helps them feel strong. Physical exercise came second (51 percent), while the mindful activity of setting goals came third (30 percent).  

“At Fitbit, we recognise that being strong comes in many guises be it physical, mental or emotional. Strength is all-encompassing and this should be reflected in all meanings of the word ‘strong’,” Lucy Sheehan, Head of Marketing UK at Fitbit, said of the research. “At Fitbit we believe it’s important to have a holistic approach to our wellness, and this mindset should apply to what makes us strong as well.”

As part of its What’s Strong With You campaign, Fitbit is on a mission to crowdsource definitions of “strong” from people across the UK and Ireland. Join the conversation and share your definition on Facebook and Instagram with #WhatsStrongWithYou

Fitbit exists to help support everyone’s holistic health and wellness. From Daily Readiness to help you manage your recovery to over 300 sleep and meditation relaxation sessions in Fitbit Premium,** including content from Calm,*** the #1 App for Sleep and Meditation. Fitbit is there to help you have enough energy to play with the kids in the park, smash a new personal best, and gives you the chance to have some ‘me’ time with meditation. 

For more information on Fitbit and its services, please visit

*A survey by Course5 Intelligence conducted on behalf of Fitbit in August 2021 of 13,053 adults in 12 countries across Europe, Middle East, and Africa. (UK, Ireland, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Poland, South Africa, and UAE), with additional survey questions shared in the UK, Netherlands, and Ireland in November 2021. The participants are a representative sample as selected by Course5 Intelligence.  

** Fitbit Premium is only available in select languages. Content & features subject to change. Access these services in the Fitbit app. Fitbit app is only available for compatible Android and iOS devices. Internet connection required for use. 

*** Calm content is only available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, French, German, Japanese, and Korean.

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