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Annual Survey Reveals New #1 Fitness Trend in 2016

December 8, 2015

Are you tracking your running mileage, calories burned or average heart rate using a wearable device? The American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has announced its annual fitness trend forecast and for the first time, exercise pros say wearable technology will be the top trend in fitness next year. The results were released in the article “ Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016: 10th Anniversary Edition” published in the November/December issue of ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal.

“Wearable technology has overtaken activities like body weight training and high-intensity interval training to claim the number one spot in this year’s survey,” said Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, the lead author of the survey and associate dean in the College of Education & Human Development at Georgia State University in Atlanta. “Consumer interest in fitness technology may signal that the low-cost, DIY exercise trend is waning.”

Now in its tenth year, the survey was completed by more than 2,800 health and fitness professionals worldwide, many certified by ACSM, and was designed to reveal trends in various fitness environments. Forty potential trends were given as choices, and the top 20 were ranked and published by ACSM, including a few new additions to last year’s list, one of which rose immediately to the number one spot.

“Tech devices are now central to our daily lives and have changed the way we plan and manage our workouts,” said Thompson. “Wearable devices also provide immediate feedback that can make the wearer more aware of their level of activity and can motivate the user to achieve their fitness goals.”

The top 10 fitness trends for 2016 are:

  1. Wearable Technology
  2. Body Weight Training
  3. High-Intensity Interval Training
  4. Strength Training
  5. Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals
  6. Personal Training
  7. Functional Fitness (using strength training to improve balance and ease of daily living)
  8. Fitness Programs for Older Adults
  9. Exercise and Weight Loss
  10. Yoga

The full list of top 20 trends is available in the article: "Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2016: 10th Anniversary Edition.” An infographic of the trends study results is available here.