Garmin offers insights on active lifestyles during COVID-19

May 1, 2020  - By
Photo: playb/E+/Getty Images

Photo: playb/E+/Getty Images

Garmin has released data that highlights activity trends throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

According to the company, the week President Donald Trump declared a national state of emergency marked a major shift in human activity.

Garmin data pointed to a massive decline in the overall number of steps taken during the second two weeks of March in the U.S. This trend is consistent with the company’s global trend data in China, Italy and other countries where the coronavirus pandemic struck first.

“We’re observing a remarkable shift in the types of activities people are doing, reflecting an unprecedented about-face when it comes to typical springtime exercise and activity,” Garmin said in a blog post.

To paint a clear picture of the initial trends, Garmin engineers and data analysts looked at the percent change in activity levels in the United States for specific sports and exercises and compared the first half of March with the second half of March to determine increases and decreases. The results also are baselined against the same time period in 2019.

Here’s an overview of how activity has changed.

  • Skiing and snowboarding: These activities are down 96%. This aligns with resorts closing because of the pandemic.
  • Cycling: Virtual cycling activity was up 64% in the second half of the month, a shift that appears even more atypical when comparing it to the same time period last year. March 2019 saw a 20% decline in the activity as cyclists naturally began to take their rides outside to enjoy the warmer weather, Garmin said.
  • Indoor/treadmill running: Indoor/treadmill running is down 44%. According to Garmin, this doesn’t mean this activity has come to a halt. Because gyms across the country are closed, a number of treadmills aren’t being used. In fact, virtual running saw a steep increase in the second half of March, and despite gym closures, overall indoor cardio is holding strong over 2019 levels and showing an 18% week-over-week increase from March 16 to March 30. This suggests more people are exercising, and they’re finding ways to do it from home, with and without their own equipment, Garmin said.
  • Lap swimming: Lap swimming is down 88%.
  • Walking: Walking is up 36% when comparing the front half of March to the back half of March. This surge is double the 18% increase observed over the same time period last year, Garmin reported.
  • Yoga: Garmin wearable device data shows an 11% increase in yoga activity, when comparing the front and back halves of the month. This is an increase in 2019 data, as well.
  • Golf: Golf has seen a 20% decline in activity for the second half of March. When comparing the same two time periods last year, golfing activity increased by 53%.

About the Author: Allison Kral

Allison Kral is the former digital media manager for North Coast Media (NCM). She completed her undergraduate degree at Ohio University where she received a Bachelor of Science in magazine journalism from the E.W. Scripps School of Journalism. She works across a number of digital platforms, which include creating e-newsletters, writing articles and posting across social media sites. She also creates content for NCM's Pit & Quarry magazine, Portable Plants magazine and Geospatial Solutions. Her understanding of the ever-changing digital media world allows her to quickly grasp what a target audience desires and create content that is appealing and relevant for any client across any platform.