Recreation Management Rec Report - The Newsletter for Recreation, Sports & Fitness Facility Managers

Feature Story

August 2020


Before Pandemic, Fitness Was Hot, SFIA Report Says

In 2019, fitness participation increased 2.9% and individuals took part in about four fitness activities throughout the year, on average. This is according to a new report from the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA). In addition, the report shows that "casual" participation continues to grow as more opportunities to try new workouts arise and become more accessible.

The SFIA recently released the 2020 Tracking the Fitness Movement Report, which presents a deep dive into the fitness industry and consumer trends across the United States.

While the COVID-19 pandemic will no doubt have a great impact on participation numbers and trends for 2020, many of the top fitness activities of 2019—walking for fitness, running/jogging, dumbbells/hand weights, and yoga—are ideal for the at-home fitness routines Americans in adopted in 2020 as facilities closed down. It is likely that these activities, already strong and growing in 2019, will reflect exponential growth in 2020.

In addition, the emphasis on easily accessible running and walking activities may reinforce exercise as a lifestyle and provide new opportunities for Americans to be active as they come to terms with new ways of social engagement.

"The fitness industry was hitting on all cylinders in 2019 and early 2020, and diverged in two directions as the COVID pandemic hit our country," said Tom Cove, SFIA CEO and president. "On the one hand, Americans' desire for fitness has driven growth in activity rates and sales for at-home fitness products. This is a terrific reflection of the underlying strength of the fitness category and of the fitness community. On the other hand, the impact of fitness facility closures has been, and continues to be extremely challenging for large parts of the fitness industry.

"We believe Americans' desire for fitness and the industry's creativity and resilience indicate sustained future growth after the pandemic subsides," he added.

The report features in-depth interviews with fitness industry leaders, providing personal insight into specific key segments of the market.

For more information, visit www.sfia.org.


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