Fitbit data shows huge increase in stress relief activities like meditation during COVID-19

Along with an overall increase in meditation, the data showed Canadians spent more time hiking than before

Fitbit released a bunch of data about how people’s fitness habits have changed during the pandemic and — surprise! — the number of active minutes have decreased since June 2020. However, despite that, some things have changed for the better.

Although active minutes went down, Fitbit’s data shows that workout intensity has increased in most groups, excluding men aged 18-49.

Globally, users have picked up more stress relieving activities like meditation, yoga and Pilates. Specifically, meditation increased by 2,900 percent compared to last year, according to Fitbit. The increase highlights the collective need for managing stress.

Further, Fitbit’s data shows that new activities gained popularity. The company noted “surprising” increases in kickboxing, jumping rope and rollerblading. Specifically, kickboxing increased by 38.8 percent for all ages, while for ages 18-29, rollerblading and yoga nearly tripled in popularity.

Finally, Fitbit also highlighted some interesting stats for different countries. Canada saw a 102.9 percent increase in hiking, putting it fourth among countries surveyed. Sweden took top spot with a 181.3 percent increase in hiking.

As for meditation, New Zealand saw the biggest increase in meditation with a 9,017.5 percent increase. Great Britain was next with a 7,350 percent increase in meditation.

Fitbit’s research team analyzed aggregated, anonymous population level data from Fitbit users age 18 to 80 with a BMI of 15 to 60 across tens of millions of Fitbit users between March 1st to September 30th, 2020. It compared the data to the same time in 2019, including factors like step counts, active minutes and activity types.

Those interested in learning more can check out all the data on Fitbit’s website.