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Strava sees boom in global exercise during COVID-19 pandemic

Strava reports cyclists logged 8.1 billion miles with 400 billion feet of elevation gain, while runners added another 1.9 billion miles and 94.5 billion feet of climbing last year

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Popular social training platform Strava saw a 33 per cent increase in uploaded activities over the last 12 months with 1.1 billion activities uploaded and 2 million new athletes a month. The data was collected between Oct. 1, 2019 and Sept. 30, 2020.

Women led the way in terms of increased activity – between April and September of this year “women aged 18-29 uploaded 45.2% more activities than during the same period last year, compared to a 27.3% increase by their male counterparts.”

According to a release from the company yesterday, athletes around the world might not have had many races to participate in, but they did find ways to compete and test themselves.

Women led the way in terms of increased activity – between April and September of this year “women aged 18-29 uploaded 45.2% more activities than during the same period last year, compared to a 27.3% increase by their male counterparts.”

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The way countries handled the pandemic affected activity, too. During strict lockdowns, Spain saw outdoor activity drop by 67 per cent, while Italy saw a 64 per cent decrease. The United States and the United Kingdom, which didn’t have as many restrictions on outdoor exercise, “saw large sustained increases in outdoor activities beginning at the onset of the pandemic.”

People were also walking a lot more. There was an 1.5- to 2-time increase in uploads for running, cycling and indoor workouts, but “uploads for walks increased by 3x.”

Here are a more findings from the report:

  • Everesting (accumulating 29,029 ft in one activity by repeating a single climb) surged in popularity this year for pro and amateur cyclists alike. 600% more successful Everesting rides were uploaded in June 2020 compared to the same period in 2019.
  • Despite the cancellation of marathons, hundreds of thousands of 26.2 mile runs were uploaded to Strava — 3x as many marathons were run alone in 2020 compared to 2019. In the peak month (April 2020), 76% of marathons were run solo, a 10x increase over April 2019.
  • Among runners active on Strava since at least 2019, 55% logged a new personal best time in their 5K, 10K, half marathon or marathon distances in 2020.
  • Athletes who were active on Strava in both 2019 and 2020 increased their activity frequency by over 13%.