With much of the world’s population now in lockdown due to Covid-19, our activity and fitness habits are no doubt changing. But, it seems that many active types aren’t quite ready to sit on the couch and lose their fitness. Recent data released by Garmin, one of the world’s leading producers of sports watches and fitness trackers, shows that, despite communities being in lockdown, active people will find a way to exercise.
Based on data collected from millions of wearable devices across Europe, this data released by Garmin shows that although our collective exercise habits have changed dramatically, many are still taking the time to exercise relishing the opportunity to stay active within the guidelines set by the government. While South Africa wasn’t included in the study, this date should be of interest to any country where outdoor sports such as cycling and running, or indoor gym workouts, are popular.
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Data from March 2020, compared with data from the same period of 2019, shows that Garmin users are embracing home workouts and getting creative in the space they have.
Garmin wearable devices have more than 20 different built-in sports and activity apps. This, combined with a vast user base, helped researchers understand just how exercise patterns have changed during the lockdown period and what types of exercise are replacing more traditional forms of outdoor exercise. Here’s what they found:
While general activity and walking was down in all five of the countries with lockdown guidelines, the researchers caution against using this data set alone to suggest that people are moving less. Rather, they found people are changing their routines because of circumstances. In countries like Germany, where outdoor cycling is permitted, cycling has increased by 153%, compared with a 36% increase over the same period last year. While countries where cycling is banned, such as Italy, Spain, and France, there has been an increase in indoor cycling with a 309% increase, 273% increase, and 157% increase respectively. Researchers found that the average distance per ride is also increasing.
Running is the most popular and typically shared springtime activity in Europe.Garmin’s data shows that although outdoor running dropped significantly in Spain and Italy, avid runners did take to the treadmill or their garden to upload virtual running activities in record numbers. Meanwhile, in Germany, Sweden and the UK, where some outdoor exercise is still permitted, runners are doing shorter distances.
General fitness workouts
The study found an increase in general workouts in Italy, France and Spain when compared to the period before their lockdown. Floor climbing (essentially running up and down stairs at home or in your apartment building) is happening a lot in countries where outdoor activity is limited which shows users’ commitment to staying active, despite not having access to equipment or the great outdoors.
The data also shows that indoor cardio workouts have soared. Italy has seen a 105% increase in fitness equipment activities when comparing the pre- and post-lockdown time periods. People in France, Spain and the U.K. are also working out more with categorical increases of 80%, 93% and 8%, respectively. All of this seems to indicate that those living in countries with the most extreme lockdown restrictions are still finding ways to move.
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