Strava Unveils its Year in Sport Survey Findings

Published 23 January 2024

3 min read

Strava, the US digital community for tracking physical activity, has published its annual Year in Sport: The Trend Report. The study showcases the most popular activities logged on the platform, as well as the primary motivators and obstacles to maintaining an active lifestyle. Enter the rise of exhilarating off-road sports, fitness with four-legged friends, and climate-change-induced barriers to exercise.

Combining data from activity uploads on the platform between October 1 2022 to September 30 2023 and a 6,990-person global survey, Strava found that running was the most popular sport in 2023, with activity uploads increasing by 4% year-on-year. This was followed by cycling (including e-bikes) and walking. Meanwhile, gravel riding (cycling on unpaved roads and trails) is one of the fastest-growing activities on Strava, seeing a remarkable 55% increase in uploads. Other off-road sports, including trail running (+16%), mountain biking (+13%) and hiking (+10%), also witnessed an uptick.

When it comes to motivation, 53% of Gen Z and millennial Strava users said they “get out of a rut” by making a new goal, with 43% signing up for an event, and 41% arranging an activity with friends. Routine is king – nine in 10 Strava users believe it helps them work out regularly. Also, 76% said their pet inspires them to get out and exercise, and that being active alongside their furry friend is more enjoyable.

Meanwhile, the primary obstacle to regular physical activity, according to more than two-thirds of Strava users, is lack of time due to work commitments. Climate change is also an inhibiting factor; 75% blamed extreme heat for impacting exercise, with poor air quality affecting 27%. And while men on the platform were 13% more likely than women to say household responsibilities prevented them from working out, women were 9% more likely to cite a lack of safe places as a barrier to sports.

For further thinking on this topic, see The New Fitness Culture: Evolving the Workout. Also read The New Sports-Leisure Landscape reports 01 to explore 10 sports ascending in global popularity.

Combining data from activity uploads on the platform between October 1 2022 to September 30 2023 and a 6,990-person global survey, Strava found that running was the most popular sport in 2023, with activity uploads increasing by 4% year-on-year. This was followed by cycling (including e-bikes) and walking. Meanwhile, gravel riding (cycling on unpaved roads and trails) is one of the fastest-growing activities on Strava, seeing a remarkable 55% increase in uploads. Other off-road sports, including trail running (+16%), mountain biking (+13%) and hiking (+10%), also witnessed an uptick.

When it comes to motivation, 53% of Gen Z and millennial Strava users said they “get out of a rut” by making a new goal, with 43% signing up for an event, and 41% arranging an activity with friends. Routine is king – nine in 10 Strava users believe it helps them work out regularly. Also, 76% said their pet inspires them to get out and exercise, and that being active alongside their furry friend is more enjoyable.

Meanwhile, the primary obstacle to regular physical activity, according to more than two-thirds of Strava users, is lack of time due to work commitments. Climate change is also an inhibiting factor; 75% blamed extreme heat for impacting exercise, with poor air quality affecting 27%. And while men on the platform were 13% more likely than women to say household responsibilities prevented them from working out, women were 9% more likely to cite a lack of safe places as a barrier to sports.

For further thinking on this topic, see The New Fitness Culture: Evolving the Workout. Also read The New Sports-Leisure Landscape reports 01 to explore 10 sports ascending in global popularity.