Members increased frequency of activity by 13%
The number of solo marathons run over the 12 months to September 2020 increased threefold
55% set a training PB in 2020
Outdoor participation down in certain countries over the spring due to lockdown restrictions
The global pandemic has had a positive effect on exercise levels globally, according to the annual report published today by activity-logging website Strava.
During the 12 months from October 2019 to September 2020, members increased their frequency of activity by 13%. Highlighting the effect of the Covid-19 restrictions on sporting activities , in the six months from April 2020 onwards, women aged 18-29 uploaded 45.2% more activities than over the same period the previous year. For men, this figure was 27.3%.
Strava, which allows users to upload running, cycling, walking, watersports and indoor gym activities, now numbers 73 million athletes. This was up 50% on that reported this time last year.
More than 1.1 billion activities were recorded over the 12-month period up to this September and the data provides an intriguing snapshot of sporting activity over this most bizarre year.
As most of the world’s top marathons were cancelled due to the pandemic, the number of marathons run were predictably down compared the previous year. However, the number of solo 26.2-mile runs completed went up by around 300%, with 44% of all marathons run completely solo.
Further, of those who were also on Strava the previous year, 55% set a personal best over 5km, 10km, half-marathon or marathon - albeit not many will have been in races.
Big differences were seen between countries according to the nature of Covid restrictions enforced. For example, in countries such as Spain and Italy were lockdowns enforced strict stay-at-home rules, outdoor activities plummeted by 67% and 64% respectively over this period.
However, in nations such as the UK where daily exercise was one of the few legitimate reasons to leave home during the spring lockdown, outdoor activities levels were 82% higher than would be expected between March and May.
Although the length of individual activities globally stayed about the same, the increase in the number of workouts meant the average moving time per person increased by 14.7%.
In total, 1.9 billion running miles were clocked up - more than 20 times the distance between the earth and the sun. The average distance per run was 3.9 miles - slightly higher for males at 4.1 miles compared to 3.4 miles for females. The average duration per year was 38 minutes 48 seconds.
Download the 2020 Year in Sport report
2020 Strava Community Totals at a glance:
73 million total athletes
1.1 billion activity uploads
2 million athletes join every month
172,000 Strava clubs created
71 million Strava challenge joins by athletes
386.4 million photos uploaded
7.1 billion “kudos” given