The annual Survey of Fitness Trends 2017 By Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, (ACSM’S Health & Fitness Journal: November/December 2016 – Volume 20 – Issue 6 – p 8–17) reflects the most current and emerging trends (not fads) in the fitness industry is now in its 11th year, and keeps helping the health and fitness professionals, including personal trainers, to make important investment and their career decisions. The survey takes into account trends that have a significant impact on the industry according to the international respondents.
Group training and Exercise is Medicine® are new trends in 2017 survey. Group training (a group of over 5 participants) has existed in the fitness industry for many years but it is only this year that it made it to the top 20 at no. 6. with no obvious reasons. Exercise is Medicine® is a global health initiative that encourages physical activity and exercising to be treated as part of health care in preventing and treating diseases.
Dropping out of the top 20 for 2017 are sport-specific training (no. 15 in 2016 survey and no. 16 in 2015 survey) and core training (the decline in popularity was observed through 2015 and 2016). Boot camp, Pilates, balance training, indoor cycling, stability ball, Zumba®, water workouts and running clubs continually fail to make it to the top 20 for 2017. They still have their place in the fitness industry environment but with less popularity. Functional fitness has suffered the biggest drop in the top 20 (moved down 5 spots) when compared to a previous year.
Still Going Strong
Three top trends from a previous year, wearable technology, body weight training and high-intensity interval training have secured their top positions in the top 20 for 2017. Wearable technology is an increasing trend with smart glasses, interactive textiles and smart fabrics being introduced. High-intensity interval training (HIIT) has remained in the spot no. 3 despite the controversy about its safety and body weight training that has made it to the to 20 last year for the first time remains strong in the second position of the survey.
Personal training has been in the top 10 of this survey for the past 10 years. As previously attention recently has been paid to the education and personal trainer certification that has third-party accreditation. Recent legislation has been introduced in an attempt to require licensure for personal trainers, but none has been adopted thus far.
Top 20 Fitness Trends 2017
(Rating changes in comparison to 2016)
↕0 1. Wearable technology
↕0 2. Body weight training
↕0 3. High-intensity interval training
↕0 4. Educated, certified, and experienced fitness professionals
↓1 5. Strength training
↕0 6. Group training New
↕0 7. Exercise is Medicine® New
↑2 8. Yoga training
↓3 9. Personal training
↓1 10. Exercise and weight loss
↓3 11. Fitness programs for older adults
↓5 12. Functional fitness
↑1 13. Outdoor activities
↓3 14. Group personal training
↓2 15. Wellness coaching (health coach)
↓4 16. Worksite health promotion
↕0 17. Smart Phone Exercise Apps
↑2 18. Outcome measurements
↓1 19. Circuit training
↓4 20. Flexibility and mobility rollers