Results Of The 2017 Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends

Avatar for Hadyn Luke Hadyn Luke posted this on Thursday 24th of November 2016 Hadyn Luke 24/11/2016


Results Of The 2017 Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends

The 11th annual report on global fitness trends is now out.

Released by the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), the survey is a benchmark for trends across the health and fitness industry, used as reference by personal trainers and fitness instructors, as well as sports centre staff and companies that train fitness professionals.

In previous blogs, we have also covered the trends identified in the ACSM fitness reports from 201320142015 and 2016.


At the top of the list for 2017 is Wearable Technology (see our blog on Wearable technology – fun or functional). Having never appeared on the list before 2016, it has now topped the trends for the second year in a row.

Measuring activities such as how many steps the wearer has taken, calories burned, heart rate and sleep, as well as offering GPS tracking, wearable devices include brands such as Fitbit, Jawbone and the Apple watch.

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, said:

“Technology is now a must-have in our daily lives. Everyone can easily count steps taken or calories burned using a wearable device or a smart phone. The health data collected by wearable technology can be used to inform the user about their current fitness level and help them make healthier lifestyle choices.”


The next two trends are also non-movers from 2016. Topping the list for 2015, Body Weight Training – used by many fitness professionals in resistance training programmes – is at no 2 for the second year in a row.

High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) was the top choice for 2014 and has now settled at no 3. Typically carried out in a short session (under 30 minutes), HIIT comprises high-intensity exercise carried out in short bursts, with brief recovery times in between sets (see our blog on The CrossFit Craze and on Women and CrossFit).

Up from no 5 for 2016 to no 4 for 2017 is Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals. The training and accreditation of industry professionals such as personal trainer and fitness instructors is essential to ensure the safety and well-being of their clients, which is why CMS Fitness provides a vital service within the industry (see our blog on What qualifications do I need to become a PT?).

Meanwhile Strength Training has dropped from its long-standing place at no 4 to number 5 in the list for 2017 (see our blogs on: Going to failure in strength trainingThe benefits of strength training for women; and Should young people do strength training?).

From aerobics and spin to dance classes, Group Training has reappeared in the top 10 at number 6. While these can proved good value for clients, the instructors of group classes have to be aware of different fitness levels and abilities to ensure that the whole group benefits from the exercises set.

In at no 7, Exercise is Medicine is a brand new entry in the top 10 for 2017. A global health initiative, it focuses on encouraging health care providers to include physical activity as part of their treatment plan for patients, as well a referring their patients to exercise professionals.

Yoga remains in the top 10 at no 8 this year (see our blog on Yoga and mental health). Using body posture and breathing techniques to promote health and relaxation, yoga is offered in a wide range of classes, from Ashtanga to more contemporary options such as Yogalates.

Personal Training, at no 9, is linked with no 4 Educated and Experienced Fitness Professionals in that training and accreditation has become more and more important for those employed in the fitness industry.

Finally, at no 10 we find Exercise and Weight Loss (see our blog on Food tracking apps). Many clients consult personal trainers for help with weight loss, and industry professionals often take a holistic approach to helping their clients.

The results were published in the November/December 2016 issue of ACSM’s Health and Fitness Journal and can be seen in full in the article Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2017.

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