Hiking/Walking/Outdoor and Yoga/Pilates/Meditation Saw Highest Increases in Participation

Port Washington, NY, April 11, 2022 – According to Sport Consumer Survey IV: Europe, the latest report from The NPD Group, sport activities such as hiking, yoga, and running were the most prominent activities in Europe* that consumers participated in during the pandemic in 2021, with football being the only sport activity to experience declines.

Hiking/walking/outdoor, and yoga/pilates/meditation saw the largest increases in participation, with each increasing by 19%. Running, cycling, and training/fitness/workout/gym classes saw respective increases of 16%, 11%, and 7%, while football declined 10%.

The participation frequency increase in hiking/walking/outdoor was driven by 18-34 and 55+ age groups. Running was particularly strong in the 55+ age group, while the 18-34 age group saw the highest increases in participation for yoga/pilates/meditation. All age groups reported declines in participation for football, though the largest declines were seen among those ages 35 and older.

The number of new participants in hiking/walking/outdoor was driven by those in the 18-34 age group, followed by those ages 55+. New participation in running was particularly strong in the 55+ age group, while yoga/pilates/mediation saw the highest number of new participants coming from the 18-34 age group.

“Consumers are participating in more diverse activities more often, and it’s up to the industry to educate them on products that will help them stay in the game, so to speak,” said Felix Letfuss, Sports senior account manager for The NPD Group in Europe. “This is particularly important for consumers who started a new sports activity during the pandemic. It’s imperative that we keep these consumers engaged post-pandemic, focusing on education and incentives for these new participants.”

* Germany, France, UK, Italy, and Spain

Consumer data in this report comes from a survey of 3,000 consumers across France, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom, with a sample size of 600 consumers per country. The survey was fielded from 10 December to 16 December 2021.

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