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HYBRID

THE SHAPE

OF DIGITAL such as Funxtion, gives us insights into how people exercised during lockdown and the likely shape of consumer digital engagement going forward, as Karen Euser reports

T

he fitness industry was driven digital pretty much overnight in order to survive lockdown and as a result, the number of online workouts available rocketed to an all-time high. Since March, we’ve analysed over 300,000 workout ‘plays’ through our platform and as the weeks have rolled by, digital fitness trends and changes in consumer behaviour have begun to emerge and change.

THE FINDINGS

We track 100 different workouts, varying in length from four-minutes, right through to 30-minutes. Immediately after lockdown, there was strong demand for shorter, higher intensity bodyweight workouts – in particular four- or seven-minute HIIT workouts. It came as no surprise that the initial interest was in shorter workouts using bodyweight resistance, as people adjusted to working out at home rather than in the gym and to being without any gym equipment. But, as time went on, the statistics showed a growing interest in longer workouts, as people got fitter, gained confidence in their ability, got more used to working out at home and searched for more ambitious sessions. At this point, we noticed a shift towards workouts lasting between 15- and 30-minutes – a big increase on the 4-7 minutes.

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August 2020 ©Cybertrek 2020

PHOTO: VASIN LEE/SHUTTERSTOCK

The data generated by tech platforms

Digital workout preferences changed as lockdown progressed and gyms reopened

There were also noticeable spikes in downloads of equipment-led workouts, as consumers equipped themselves with kit, such as dumbbells and kettlebells. Interestingly, kettlebell and dumbbell workouts have seen the highest percentage of returning users. We also saw a rise in demand for more holistic classes, such as meditation. The longer people were required to stay at home during lockdown, it seemed that the more mental health support was needed, so we ramped up the provision of content in this holistic category. These classes saw a sharp rise in popularity and we can see from the analytics that this demand continues to rise. In terms of timings, we find most people – around 80 per cent on our platform – prefer to exercise in the late afternoon, or early evening. When it comes to gender split, 66.7 per cent of the audience is female and 33.3 per cent male but when it comes to completing workouts, women lead, with a workout completion rate of 66 per cent, compared to men, who complete 40 per cent of workouts, on average.

QUALITY OR QUANTITY?

Despite the initial drive to just get digital content up as quickly as possible, the more competitive this market becomes, the more consumers are attracted to quality.

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