The annual ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal worldwide survey is out, predicting how the fitness industry will be affected by trends for the coming 12 months.
With consistently less than a 5% response rate from owner/ operators though, we are far more interested to hear from them, and we feel this would increase the validity and credibility of such reports.
Unsurprisingly wearable technology takes the top prediction for the third year running. There is little doubt that the wearable market is growing, as is the app market (we appreciate that typically wearables come with an app!)
In fact, according to appannie.com globally there were 435,000 app downloads per minute in 2021 (this includes all apps not just fitness ones).
The same research concludes that Gen X and Baby Boomers 3rd and 4th health fitness app downloads were respectively Fitbit and Garmin connect. Given Apple Health comes preloaded on iOS, it’s no surprise this is not on the download list.
In recent weeks we have heard of the BGF investment in Myzone, suggesting there is an outside interest in wearables as non-fitness related businesses enter the market space.
At about the same time at CES Garmin made a number of product launches, only to make many other software updates, product/ model releases only a few days later (in fact, we couldn’t even keep count on how many they announced!)
This may be why https://www.marketsandmarkets.com/ is confident in stating wearable sales are closing in on $1 Billion, with a predicted $250 Billion on the table (including health care, industrial application and ‘other’ segments).
Number two on the ACSM list is home exercise gyms. This is an interesting prediction, given the pandemic (in certain parts of the globe) seems to be reducing.
Having seen just how busy the gyms are in the UK, at least, it’s safe to say a significant proportion of people are comfortable returning to their familiar workout spaces.
This said, anecdotally it feels like there are more runners and cyclists out there than before the pandemic.
Could this mean people are happy training at home (does training at home appeal to a different audience) and we will continue to see investment in home equipment, especially in-line with a rise in wearable sales and digital solutions? Time will tell, with outdoor activities slotting into number three on the list.
Number four is stated as being strength training with free weights. Why specifically free weights you may be asking? Well frankly, we’ve no clue.
One thing is for certain the media seems to continue to be pushing the health and fitness benefits of strength training, so for this year at least pumping iron remains sexy.
When we get down to number five on the list we find exercise for weight loss.
Public Health England surveyed 5,000 people and found 40% had gained 7 pounds/ over 3 kg over 2020/1.
From this research alone, it suggests that weight loss could remain high on people’s agenda (the CDC reports that ‘having obesity… increases the risk of severe illness from COVID-19). This could mean that more of the population is concerned about their weight.
With all of this in mind there is little doubt in our mind that we are seeing people open their eyes to their health and fitness and are seeking methods to better themselves.
Whether this is purchasing wearable and/or home gym equipment, training outdoors, getting in more strength training or focusing on losing a few pounds, we as an industry are in a fortunate position to help people more than ever before.