Fitness Trends for 2019: Results from the ACSM Survey

Fitness Trends for 2019: Results from the ACSM Survey

The results are in! The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has just released their 2019 fitness trends predictions, a report we anxiously await each year here at Action PR.

The worldwide survey, now in its 13th year, asks fitness professionals from around the world to rank a series of trends in order to determine what’s likely to be the talk of the industry for the year ahead. For the 2019 survey, there were 39 possible trends. These trends included the top 25 from previous years alongside some potentially emerging trends. The survey received more than 2,000 responses from fitness professionals from just about every continent and included the UK, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Russia, Singapore, Taiwan and the United States.

Let’s not hold you in suspense! Here are the top 10 results of ACSM’s 2019 survey:

  1. Wearable Technology
  2. Group Training
  3. High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
  4. Fitness Programmes for Older Adults
  5. Bodyweight Training
  6. Employing Certified Fitness Professionals
  7. Yoga
  8. Personal Training
  9. Functional Fitness Training
  10. Exercise is Medicine

Key Takeaways

Perhaps one of the more interesting results was the fact that #6, Employing Certified Fitness Professionals, is new to the top 20 trends identified for 2019. There has been an undeniable shift to elevate the credibility of the industry over the last year and it is interesting to see this shift being recognised from a worldwide perspective. Gone are the days of being able to work as a PT with a basic online course. The industry is clearly demanding more to be employable as a fitness professional.

Wearable technology took over the #1 spot for 2019 after dropping to #3 in 2018. ACSM speculates that this may be a result of manufacturers correcting some monitoring inaccuracies in the past. As both an Apple Smartwatch and Fitbit Versa wearer, I can say first-hand that vast improvements have been made over the last twelve months in terms of both accuracy and functionality. They’ve also gotten a lot more stylish too, becoming both fashion accessory and practical fitness tracker combined.

HIIT was the #1 trend in 2014 and 2018 but has now fallen to #3 for 2019. Perhaps this is due to the increased rate of injury, or possibly the increase of boutique studios offering more choice for fitness enthusiasts.

Group training made a significant return in 2017 as the #6 trend and has been the #2 trend for the past two years. It’s no wonder, given the plentiful research on the effects of group exercise on reducing stress and improving mental wellbeing.

Other trends to watch are mobile exercise apps, worksite health and wellbeing programs and post-rehab classes.

What’s Next?

The results of this annual survey can be really important in helping health and fitness professionals make important investment decisions for future growth and development. Notably, many decision makers in the industry will be designing campaigns, product launches and promotions based on emerging trends… not the latest product being sold by fitness influencers on Instagram.

To geek out over the full ACSM survey, go here