Fitness Participation Grows for
Fifth Straight Year, New Report Shows
Exercise is on the rise. The number of Americans who said they worked out last year increased from the year prior, according to a new industry report. This marks the fifth consecutive year that the number has increased.
Late last month, the Sports & Fitness Industry Association (SFIA) released its annual Topline Participation Report and the findings are encouraging.
More than 237 million Americans say they participated in at least one sport or fitness activity in 2022. That figure, which includes those aged 6 years and up, accounts for approximately 77 percent of the assessed population.
The Topline report has shown an increase in this figure every year since 2017. Based on the report, the number of Americans exercising has grown by more than 9 percent over the past five years. The jump from 2021 to 2022 is just under 2 percent.
“This year’s report reinforces that Americans are prioritizing physical activity as they establish habits and routines in a post-pandemic environment,” said Tom Cove, SFIA President and CEO. “But we will make a mistake if we take some good signals for granted. Looking forward, sports and fitness delivery systems must commit to providing accessible, reasonably priced and high-quality experiences to keep athletes engaged.”
Club Industry’s Pamela Kufahl summarized additional findings from the reporting, writing:
Despite the overall participation growth, health club-based activities were not typically back to 2019 participation rates […] .Of the 24 fitness activities tracked, eight had an increase in participation in the past three years: Pilates training (11.6 percent); yoga (10.4 percent); kettlebells (6.5 percent); dance, step and other choreographed exercise to music (5 percent); barre (3.8 percent); free weights (dumbbells/hand weights) (3.3 percent); walking for fitness (3 percent) and free weights (barbells) (1.1 percent).
The gym-based activities with the biggest decreases in participation from 2019 to 2022 were group stationary cycling (-36.9 percent), cross-training style workouts (-31.7 percent), boot camp style training (-24 percent), stair climbing machine (-24 percent) and cardio kickboxing (-21.3 percent).
Another year-in-review report for 2022 from Garmin found that “Home-based activities that skyrocketed amid lockdowns such as indoor cycling and yoga leveled off, while indoor activities that couldn’t be performed in a home gym such as indoor running, indoor rock climbing and lap swimming rose sharply.”
Additionally, vacation-based activities such as resort skiing, scuba diving, sailing and surfing increased.