Worldwide Survey of Fitness 2019: Industry Forecast

Where is the fitness industry headed in 2019? The 13th edition of the Worldwide Survey of Fitness, conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), highlights 20 of the most relevant fitness trends in the commercial, clinical, community and corporate sectors in 2019. The survey, first published back in 2006, has information from over 2,000 respondents across the world and has produced interesting results on a trend-by-trend basis. It gives a glimpse of what the future holds for the industry.

The fitness and wellness landscape is radically transforming. While fitness was once considered to be a simple means to stay in good shape and lose weight, today that has completely changed. The Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019 gives evidence for the decline of old-fashioned fitness practices with regards to the shifting expectations of the audience.  Among the emerging trends revealed by the survey, the following three are most significant. 

Group Training Sessions

People have become aware of the many benefits of group fitness classes. Individuals who take part in group training sessions are continually motivated due to the upbeat and engaging environment in which they are guided by their instructors. According to the survey, people opt for larger group classes over smaller ones “because they are an excellent way to socialize and compete with a broader audience.” 

The success of F45 is proof that group training sessions are the new craze and won’t be going anywhere soon. According to F45 member Steven Scott, “the variety, intensity, and challenge of F45 group training classes make the classes deeply motivating and exhilarating.” “When you come out of these classes, you are pouring sweat,” he said. “You feel terrible at the time, but an hour later you get that endorphin rush.”

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)

High-Intensity Interval Training, which involves short periods of high-intensity exercises followed by short breaks, continues to be a major trend in 2019. “Consumers are seeking less traditional environments to engage in their physical activity and exercise pursuits,” says Yuri Feito, Associate Professor of Exercise Science at Wellstar College Of Health & Human Services in Georgia. 

The survey notes that “the key element in high-intensity training lies in the time efficiency of the workout, which due to the level of effort can only be performed in short sessions.” The variety of training options is another reason HIIT has become so popular. This type of training can improve overall health, increase endurance, and build lean muscle tone, and the best thing is that users can easily train anywhere and more frequently. 

Wearables and Fitness Technology

Wearable technologies–consisting of smartwatches, fitness trackers, HR monitors and GPS trackers–will continue to dominate the fitness industry in 2019. According to the survey, wearables first appeared as a major trend in 2016. These trackers are very valuable because of “their ability to track and store biometrics, prompting people to work on their results and improve them over time.” “Wearables will become more common and powerful to facilitate positive behavior change,” says Blaine Wilson, Senior Director of Wellcoaches Corporation in Texas.

Additionally, “cross connection among devices and online capabilities will spice up workouts with increased competition and engagement.” Challenges, built-in games, connection with applications, and increasing artificial intelligence features are creating a whole new digital environment that encourages users to give their best, improving their physical condition in the process.”

Worldwide Survey of Fitness 2019: Industry Forecast



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