Since 2006, the American College of Sports Medicine’s Health & Fitness Journal has sent an annual survey to professionals across the globe to discover the latest trends in health and fitness.
The data looks at trends in the commercial, clinical/medical, community and corporate divisions of the industry to see which are continuing and which are newly emerging. This year’s survey results show potential trends for 2019, which are interesting for corporate wellness programs, medical fitness centres and health clubs.
Shapewatch has analysed the Top 10 Fitness Trends from this year’s survey and we’re interested to see key themes such as technology, tracking, experiences, engagement and personalisation thread through all of them as they are the very elements we are passionate about and have built our business on.
We were also interested to see number 16 – Outcome Measurements. This highlights a trend toward personal accountability with efforts to define, track, and report outcomes. Measurements are necessary to determine the benefits of health and fitness programs in disease management and to document success in changing negative lifestyle habits. The proliferation of technology will aid in data collection to support these efforts. Outcome measurements was the #21 trend for 2018.
Here’s the rest from 1 to 10
1. Wearable Technology
Wearable technology includes devices such as fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors and GPS tracking. First appearing as a fitness trend in 2016, wearable technology was the number 1 trend in 2016 and 2017 before dropping to number 3 for 2018.
2. Group Training
Group training is designed as motivational exercise classes for more than five people, adapted for different fitness levels by instructors with a range of skills and teaching styles. Although a popular form of exercise for quite some time, it was only in 2017 that group exercise training made the top 20, appearing at number 6 and then at number 2 in the following year.
3. High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
Typically involving short bursts of high-intensity exercise followed by a short period of rest, HIIT is popular in gyms worldwide. It has made appearances as a possible trend in previous surveys before making it to the top spot in the survey for 2014 and 2018. It has remained within the top 5 every year since 2014.
4. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
Now that people are living and working longer, there is a need to stay healthy and more active in later life. Fitness clubs are now offering a range of classes and exercises catering for the older generation with a disposable income. This trend has remained very strong and has held within the survey’s top 10 since 2007.
5. Bodyweight Training
Utilising variable resistance and neuromotor movements, this popular form of training uses bodyweight at its core – an inexpensive and effective way to exercise as minimal equipment is required. As a recently defined trend, bodyweight training appeared for the first time in the survey in 2013 (at number 3) and was in the number 2 position for 2017 and number 4 for 2018.
6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals
Hiring qualified health and fitness professionals with an appropriate certification remains crucial to the industry. With more certification programs available, employers have easier access to registered qualification lists and suitable candidates.
With many forms now accessible including classes, educational materials and lifestyle retreats, yoga has made another comeback in recent years. First appearing in the top 10 in this survey in 2008, it fell away again only to return in 2015 with its highest ranking of number 7 in 2015 and 2018.
8. Personal Training
Qualifying as a Personal Trainer is possible now more than ever, with online courses, colleges, health clubs and workplaces with gym facilities. The benefits of personal training include one-to-one fitness testing and tailored workout plans for individuals looking to improve their health and well-being. Personal Training has remained a top 10 trend in this survey since it was first published in 2006.
9. Functional Fitness Training
Using strength and other movements to improve balance, coordination and endurance, the training is designed to improve daily living by replicating physical activities. It’s particularly useful for older adults or those in a clinical/medical setting. First appearing on the survey in 2007, Functional Fitness Training has remained in or around the top 10 ever since.
10. Exercise is Medicine (EIM)
Part of a global health initiative, EIM encourages primary care and health care providers to include a physical activity assessment for each patient. The initiative recognises fitness professionals as part of a community health care team so that primary care professionals are able to refer their patients for exercise treatment. EIM was the number 7 trend in 2017 and number 12 for 2018.