UK sees 82% rise in outdoor activity in Strava’s Year in Sport report

Strava has launched its annual Year in Sport report, revealing the 2020 activity trends from over 73 million global athletes.

The report maps out the biggest trends in sport, this year revealing how the pandemic has shaped and defined people’s active lives. Strava’s platform – which records 21.5 million uploads per week and has two million new athletes joining each month – shows the COVID-19 pandemic has dictated athletes’ performance levels, leading many to find new routines and new ways of staying motivated and connected during lockdown.

The UK came out on top as the ‘world’s most active’ nation – with an increase of 82% in outdoor activity, compared to a 45% increase in Germany and a 28% increase in the US.

Women dominated the activity boom with an overall increase in activities of 69% across all age groups. In particular, the 18-29 age group saw the biggest increase of 108% in activities, while the 60-plus age group saw a 62.8% increase.

Key findings from the report that underscore the exercise boom are summarised below:

Finding new ways to stay active
– All sport types saw a year on year increase, including the most popular such as running (1.9x), cycling (1.8x) and hiking (1.9x)
– Walking led the way as the activity with the greatest YoY increase (3.0x), and became a popular addition for runners and cyclists
– Overall, the average athlete’s moving time increased by 14.7% YoY, and the average athlete increased activity frequency by 13.3% YoY

Athletes are pushing themselves further and harder
– Whether it’s across the 5k, 10k, half marathon or marathon distance, 55% of runners hit new PRs in 2020

Setting new challenges and staying motivated
– With most of the world’s major marathons being cancelled this year, athletes turned to solo efforts, and 44% of marathons were completed in isolation, compared to just 14% last year
– In total, there were 71.8 million challenge joins on the platform – including a record number of over 1 million athletes taking part in the May 5K challenge

Seeking community amidst lockdown
– Efforts to fight off isolation led to a significant spike in the creation of new activity clubs, with over 30,000 new clubs emerging in April alone
– The appetite for joining clubs increased as well – peaking with nearly 250,000 athletes joined a new club in April and May at the height of lockdown

In the UK alone, 17% of the adult population is on the platform, and in total there are now over nine million UK athletes on Strava.

Michael Horvath, CEO and co-founder of Strava, said: “During a challenging year, it has been a privilege to connect athletes to what motivates them and help them find their personal best. Community members shared more than a billion activities including nearly 400 million photos with each other, from solitary virtual marathons and Everesting bike rides to midday walks while working from home. And through it all, athletes from around the world cheered each other on, proving that every effort counts and people keep people active.”

Read the December issue of BikeBiz below:

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