Strava data shows people were 38% more active this year than already record-breaking 2020

Andrew Griffin
Tuesday 07 December 2021 14:05

The world continued to work out this year more than ever before, according to data from Strava – even as lockdowns loosened and more activities were possible.

The number of activities uploaded onto the platform in 2021 grew 38 per cent on the previous, year it said, with more than 37 million uploads per week. 2020 was already record-breaking, after seeing a 33 per cent increase compared with the previous year.

The vast amount of exercise done in 2020 was largely attributed to the effects of the pandemic, as people became more conscious of their health and exercised to keep active through lockdowns. But the new data suggests that people have kept that activity up even as restrictions have eased in the UK and elsewhere.

Those findings come from Strava’s Year in Sport report, released this year. Activity-tracking platform Strava – which works as a social network for exercise – releases an annual report on how exercise has changed.

The additional interest in exercise appears to have made much of the UK faster, too. There was a 1.8 times increase in personal bests in 2021, Strava said, and four times the personal bests for marathons – more than in any other country.

Much of the additional activity has come in the form of walks, and the kinds of workouts people are doing is changing, the data showed. Walks increased more than any other sport.

But Strava also noted how extreme weather and climate change could affect those trends. Outdoor exercise decreased in reaction to flooding, wildfires and extreme heat – and even in the UK, activity dropped 32 per cent during January’s Storm Cristoph.

Strava said more than 95 million people now use its platform, and have uploaded 1.8 billion activities or 20 billions in the last year. Some 17 per cent of the UK’s population uses the platform.

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