Thousands of professionals have ranked the top fitness trends for 2020 in the ACSM annual survey.
The annual survey of global fitness trends by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) is now in its 14th year. The results of the “Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2020” are in, and they will surely assist businesses around the world in making important decisions for growth in the health and fitness industry.
Last year, 2,038 fitness professionals participated in the survey. This year saw an increase in respondents for a total of 3,037 professionals from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Russia, Brazil, India, Singapore, China, Japan, and Taiwan. 40% of the respondents reported having more than 10 years of experience in the industry and 61% are currently working full-time.
While personal trainers made up the majority, the participants hailed from a wide variety of occupations and disciplines. They included group exercise leaders, clinical physiologists, program managers, business owners, wellness coaches, medical professionals, therapists, dietitians, professors, etc.
The survey suggested 38 potential trends, asking respondents to rate them on a Likert-type scale ranging from 1 (least likely to be a trend) to 10 (most likely to be a trend). The participants were also specifically requested to distinguish real trends from mere fads. Scroll down to read the results…
The Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2020
20. Children and Exercise – Exercise programs for children not only facilitate their development, but also address the major problem of childhood and adolescent obesity associated with other health issues.
19. Outcome Measurements – Efforts to define, measure, and report outcomes help track progress, determine health benefits in disease management, and document successes and positive changes. Meanwhile, diagnostics technology has been aiding such data collection.
18. Worksite Health Promotion and Workplace Well-Being Programs – These programs, services, and facilities are provided by employers to enhance the health and wellness of workers, thereby improving job satisfaction and productivity.
17. Circuit Training – This is similar to high-intensity interval training (HIIT), but is done at a moderate intensity. Circuit training entails a group of around 10 exercises completed in succession with predetermined sequences, repetitions, times, and rest periods.
16. Lifestyle Medicine – This evidence-based practice helps people adopt positive behaviors to prevent or manage disease and promote health or quality of life. Lifestyle medicine can include quitting smoking, moderating alcohol consumption, increasing physical activity, and improving diet.
15. Licensure for Fitness Professionals – An increasing number of countries have been pursuing the regulation of fitness professionals through training, registration, and accreditation.
14. Yoga – This trend is still going strong. Yoga has been taking many forms with a proliferation of instructional videos and certifications for instructors of different formats.
13. Outdoor Activities – Outdoor pursuits have risen in rank this year as hikes, rides, and organized group activities are becoming more popular. Health and fitness professionals are being incentivized to offer and lead outdoor activities for clients.
12. Functional Fitness Training – This replicates physical activities found in daily life to improve strength, balance, coordination, and endurance. Functional fitness can be especially beneficial to elderly and clinical populations.
11. Exercise for Weight Loss – This has stayed in the top 20 trends since the survey’s inception. Weight loss programs usually incorporate both physical exercise and calorie-restricting diets.
10. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals – Employers are putting more importance on hiring health and fitness professionals who are properly educated and certified by accredited programs.
9. Health/Wellness Coaching – This type of guidance integrates behavioral science and intervention strategies into lifestyle medicine. Coaches provide education, support, and encouragement tailored to the client’s specific needs.
8. Fitness Programs for Older Adults – The aging population is a growing market with great potential as people are now living, working, remaining healthy, and staying active for much longer.
7. Body Weight Training – Using one’s body weight for strength and resistance training is an inexpensive and accessible introduction to working out for many people.
6. Exercise is Medicine (EIM) – The EIM global initiative encourages physicians and health care professionals to include physical activity as an important factor in assessment, diagnosis, treatment, and the management and prevention of disease.
4. Training with Free Weights – Free weights, such as barbells, dumbbells, medicine balls, and kettlebells, are not attached to another structural device. Instructors begin by teaching proper form for each exercise, gradually increasing resistance depending on the client’s progress.
3. Group Training – This is defined as a group workout with more than five participants. While group classes have been around for ages, they have become even more popular in recent years.
2. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) – These workouts involve short bursts of intense exercise with short periods of rest and recovery. HIIT has made it to the top five fitness trends for the past seven years.
1. Wearable Technology – This has claimed the number one spot once again, and has been a top trend since 2016. It includes fitness and activity trackers, heart rate monitors, smartwatches, and GPS devices. According to ACSM, the wearable technology industry has been estimated to be worth $95 billion.
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