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Big increase in number of Irish adults wearing fitness trackers in 2020, study finds

The findings of the study were produced byTeneo Sport and Sponsorship Index.

Irish people got plenty of exercise in 2020.
Irish people got plenty of exercise in 2020.
Image: Billy Stickland/INPHO

MORE THAN ONE in three Irish adults now use fitness tracking devices while 40% of the population increased their fitness levels as a result of Covid-19, according to a study conducted by Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index.

The Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index [TSSI] is a comprehensive 1,000 person nationally representative survey with quotas imposed across gender, region, age and social class.

It examines the Irish general public’s attitudes towards sport and exercise, and is in the eleventh year of its research.

This study outlines how health and fitness changed in 2020 with numbers of people walking, cycling and running all rising sharply.

One of the key findings showed that 64% of people used exercise as a tool to manage and improve mental health. The study also discovered that there was a 75% increase in the number of people cycling, as well as a 100% increase in the number of people running.

37% of people now use a fitness wearable or app to track their fitness, which is an increase of nearly a third compared to 27% last year.

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32% of existing club members have joined a new sports club in 2020 while 25% of Irish adults have remained a member of a gym or fitness club despite facilities being closed for long periods during 2020.

Key Findings from the Teneo Sport and Sponsorship Index 2020:

  • Overall activity levels remain at 2019 levels but the nature of how we exercise has changed
    • Walking is the nation’s preferred form of exercise with 62% of the population walking to keep fit [up from 44%]
    • Cycling and running experience surges in popularity – 75% increase in the number of people cycling and 100% increase in the number of people running
  • 40% of the population saw an increase in their fitness levels as a result of Covid-19
  • Exercise cited by 64% of people as a tool to manage and improve mental health
  • Use of fitness technology is widespread – 37% of the population wear a fitness tracker and 29% of gym members turned to virtual exercise classes in 2020
  • Sports clubs membership held firm boosted by 32% of existing club members joining a new sports club in 2020
  • Irish public backs Government decision to increase funding to sport sector during Covid-19

Screenshot 2020-11-24 at 9.04.07 AM

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