Report shows that Gen Z stays motivated by performance and aesthetics, but continues to crave community as they enter the workforce
**Note: The top upload device in the US was printed in error and should be Garmin Edge 530. This correction has been updated.**
SAN FRANCISCO – January 3, 2024 – Strava, the leading digital community for active people with more than 120 million athletes, today announced the release of Year In Sport: The Trend Report, highlighting the global trends among active people across generations. It’s no surprise that Gen Z’s behaviors and habits vary from other generations, but they also have different motivators, barriers and interests when it comes to staying active.
As part of the highly anticipated report, Strava conducted a global survey of 6,990 active people drawn from both Strava’s global community of over 120 million athletes and a random sampling of active people both on and off the Strava platform. The findings, coupled with activity data from Strava in 2023, give new and unique insights into the trends shaping the world of exercise and exploration and tease what we might expect to see this year.
Across generations, Strava athletes say their number one reason for exercising with others is social connection. Over half of Strava athletes say they’re most motivated by friends or family members who exercise – and 77% of Gen Z athletes say they feel more connected to others when seeing their friends' or family’s activities on Strava. At the bottom of the list of motivators? Celebrities and influencers – even for Gen Z and Millennials.
Gen Z is also the most social, being 29% more likely than Millennials to work out with another person at least some of the time. This may be due in part to healthy competition, as Gen Z are 31% less likely to exercise primarily for their health than their Millennial or Gen X counterparts, but they are the most likely to exercise in the pursuit of athletic performance.
When it comes to barriers to exercise and keeping up a consistent routine, over two-thirds of athletes across generations cited a lack of time due to work demands as a top hurdle. Even so, work demands didn't stop Gen Z from smashing their fitness goals – 39% of Gen Z Strava athletes started a new job and 30% relocated in 2023 but they were 32% more likely than other generations to say they’re fitter than last year.
“We know that Gen Z behaviors reflect their values and the influence of living in an increasingly digital world, which, for this group, means they are ultimately centered around activism, community, and connection,” said Zipporah Allen, Chief Business Officer at Strava. “Over the past year, we’ve seen Gen Z as the primary source of community growth through new clubs on Strava. They’ve also contributed to the increase in sports like running, despite having the most barriers to staying consistent. This shows exercise will be a central value for this generation, which is why they’re already turning to Strava as the key platform to stay motivated and connected.”
While connection rose to the top globally, there are other key motivators and barriers identified among active people:
Pets get us out the door: 76% of Strava athletes with pets say their furry companions help get them out the door when they wouldn’t go otherwise – and that exercising with their pet is more fun.
Safety and household responsibilities can be barriers to exercise: Men on Strava are 13% more likely than women to cite household responsibilities as an obstacle. Women are 9% more likely than men to cite a lack of safe places to exercise.
Climate change is impacting our exercise habits: 75% of athletes on Strava said extreme heat affected their exercise plans in 2023 – and poor air quality affected 27%.
Playlists are a trusted workout partner, but might lack variety: 43% of Gen X athletes on Strava say they’ve been listening to the same workout music for years.
To view the full report and the most popular places to hike, bike, and run around the world, check out Year In Sport: The Trend Report at: https://press.strava.com/.
Strava is the leading digital community for active people with more than 120 million athletes, in more than 190 countries. The platform offers a holistic view of your active lifestyle, no matter where you live, which sport you love and/or what device you use. Everyone belongs on Strava when they are pursuing an active life. Join the community, find motivation and discover new experiences with a Strava subscription.
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