Do you use your smartwatch or fitness tracker to track your exercise, heart rate, calorie consumption or sleep quality? If you answered yes, you’re among the millions of adults who use a wearable device at least monthly and part of the growing movement of individuals taking control of their health. Thus, it’s not shocking that more than 3,000 health and fitness pros surveyed by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) say wearable tech will be the top trend in fitness in the coming year. ACSM released the results of its annual fitness trend forecast in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020” published today in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal®.
“Wearable tech has become ingrained in today’s culture, and the industry shows no signs of slowing down,” said ACSM Past President Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education and Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “Tech advances have made it easier than ever for users to collect important health metrics and work with fitness professionals and health care providers to improve exercise efficiency, develop healthy lifestyles, manage chronic diseases and, ultimately, increase quality of life.”
Now in its 14th year, ACSM’s annual survey helps the health and fitness industry make critical programming and business decisions. This year’s survey provided 38 potential trends to choose from, including possible new trends like lifestyle medicine. Other trends were more specifically defined. Notable trends include the continued popularity of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and group training (both in the top three for three years in a row); an increased interest in Exercise is Medicine® and fitness programs for older adults; and a growing emphasis on health and wellness programs.
New this year, ACSM published a separate article, “Regional Comparisons: The Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends,” comparing the top 20 fitness trends in North America, China, Europe and South America. The article looks at specific data to provide a more global understanding of the trends in different regions around the world. Partners in Europe, South America and China collected data by replicating ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends methodology.
“Through the regional comparison we hope to enhance the scope, reach and relevance of the ACSM fitness trends survey to truly make it an international collaboration,” said Vanessa M. Kercher, Ph.D., M.Ed., co-author of the regional comparison article and a clinical assistant professor in the school of public health at Indiana University. “We plan to continue developing our international partnerships with the goal of improving and expanding the implementation and methodology of the ACSM fitness trends survey. By doing so, we aim to identify fitness trends specific to different international regions so we can explore and communicate regional similarities and differences to readers.”
According to the “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020,” the top 10 fitness trends are:
The full list of top 20 trends is available in the article “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020.” More details and resources on the top 10 fitness trends are available on online.