New study highlights the impact of Covid-19 on the gym industry

Jane McGuire
·1-min read
Photo credit: Thomas Barwick - Getty Images
Photo credit: Thomas Barwick - Getty Images

From Runner's World

  • A new study by RunRepeat reveals the impact of Covid-19 on the fitness industry. The study surveyed 4,538 active adults from 122 countries. The respondents shared how they were staying fit in 2021, compared with the start of 2020, before the pandemic

  • Three out of five adults now see outdoor activities such as running as the best way to stay fit

The study, which asked active adults their preferred way to stay fit, unsurprisingly reported a boom in outdoor exercise, with 59.1 per cent of those surveyed saying activities such as running, hiking, walking and cycling are the best way to achieve their fitness goals.

The gym industry has been badly hit by the pandemic, with lockdowns forcing the closure of facilities all over the world. A fifth of active adults said the gym was their primary way of staying fit at the beginning of 2020, according to the survey. In 2021, only 8.2 per cent of those surveyed see it as their best option; in the UK, that number is 6.8 per cent.

Runners were also avoiding gyms more than other active users in 2021; the number who see gyms as the best way to keep fit has fallen by almost 70 per cent.

For runners who are missing their treadmill sessions, we've rounded up the best treadmills, starting at £100.

More active adults than ever have also been looking for expert help during the pandemic. Compared with the start of 2020, 47.5 per cent more people have hired personal trainers and nutritionists this year to help them reach their fitness goals. Runners reported the highest growth in this trend, with an increase of 57.9 per cent over the year.

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