In-person gyms will make a comeback as only 15% of US users believe digital platforms have eliminated the need for gyms
Rebecca WattersAssociate Director, Household and Health, said:
“The role of gyms in the lives of consumers is so much more important than physical exercise. For many, the pandemic has heightened the importance of gyms as they can help with mental health, give athletes time for themselves , sticking to a routine and socializing with others According to a study by Mintel’s Global COVID-19 Tracker, more than half of Americans said the pandemic made them realize they wanted to take better care of their mental health. It is through these differentiators that we anticipate consumers will add in-person exercise into their routines as well as ongoing digital home workouts.”
Consumers seek to exercise for pleasure
US consumers increasingly find exercise enjoyable, with only two in five non-users (41%) saying they don’t exercise because they don’t like it, compared to half ( 49%) who said the same in 2020. Meanwhile, more than a third (35%) of consumers say using exercise as time for themselves motivates them to work out. More than a third (36%) of consumers say they train more regularly than before the pandemic, including 29% of those over 55. Overall, weekly exercise is increasing as the number of Americans exercising once a week more rose from 67% in 2020 to 72% in 2021.
“Aging consumers have traditionally been overlooked by the fitness industry, but they represent a large portion of the population. COVID-19 has highlighted the link between age and diminished immunity to disease, motivating a significant number of mature consumers to renew their focus on physical health.This resurgence of physical activity among older consumers, combined with the sheer volume of this demographic, presents an opportunity for the fitness industry. ‘target older consumers with a focus on resistance, flexibility and balance training along with low intensity strength training will reap the benefits of winning a host of new older customers,’ continued Watters .
Sport as an escape
Parents, especially fathers, exercise more frequently than non-parents during the COVID-19 pandemic: one-third (33%) of fathers with children under 18 in the household exercise exercise daily compared to 22% of all consumers. In fact, parents of children under 18 overestimate the use of exercise as a way to improve their mood (40% vs. 34% of consumers overall) and take time for themselves. (39% vs. 35% of consumers overall).
“The COVID-19 pandemic has forced many people to stay home, adapt and change their routines – especially when it comes to exercise. Although it may seem counter-intuitive that parents young children are exercising more, the increased responsibilities of parents two years into the pandemic, including childcare and homeschooling, have taken their toll Workouts have become one of the few activities available to Americans during quarantine months and many parents have turned to fitness to escape their hectic schedules and blow off steam.
“As brands learn to embrace a more comprehensive picture of fitness, they also have a responsibility to make their offerings more inclusive for consumers of all sizes, races and abilities. Fitness platforms need to employ instructors who reflect more specifically the general population. Gyms will also need to make their spaces more welcoming to all consumers to align with their wishes and values; such a move could help in-person facilities regain their pre-Closure membership numbers. pandemic,” Watters concluded.
Additional research on exercise consumption trends in the United States is available upon request from the Mintel Press Office.
SOURCE Mintel Group, Ltd.