strava heatmap united states blue

Strava ‘Year In Sport’ Reveals Active Trends Around the World

Filed under: Apps  Fitness  Technology 

Strava just announced its year-in-review report for 2018. We dug into the data to glean some of the most interesting nuggets about how athletes train and play worldwide.

Strava is no slouch. The ubiquitous app and platform now connect 36 million active people around the world. That means it has amassed more sports statistics than we can wrap our heads around.

Strava New Years Resolutions

Strava members upload 15 million activities in 32 sport types every week. That’s 20 uploads every second. And that gives the brand vast insight into how people exercise and adventure today.

Here are some of the most compelling findings from Strava’s heady 2018 Year In Sport report.

Best Bet: Join a Club

Athletes who join a club upload over three times more activities than non-club members. The top clubs are Strava’s own club, with 157,000 members, followed by the Global Cycling Network and the lululemon Global Run Free Club.

Most Popular Run

The Prospect Park 5K – North Start, in Brooklyn, N.Y., was the most popular running route among Strava users. And that’s not just in the U.S. — it’s the most popular run in the world.

Friends With (Health) Benefits

Strava data shows that when people work out with buddies, they go longer and farther in their sport of choice. Among all sports, groups averaged over 10 percent greater duration and more than twice that — 21 percent — more distance. In one of the top five sports, biking, Strava group members averaged more than 30 miles compared to 17 miles when riding solo.

Strava New Years Resolutions

Indoor Workouts Count

Speaking of riding, even doing it indoors on new and increasingly connected stationary bikes is becoming much more popular. And, by the way, Thursday is the most popular day for powering through an indoor workout. Who knew?

Snowshoes Are Sexy?

Among the oddest findings in the Strava year-in-review report concerns snowshoeing. More people uploaded photos of themselves or friends doing the slow-going winter activity more than any other. Maybe more time to stop and stage a selfie?

Most Popular Days

May 6, Strava reports, is the most “active” day in the world, with more than 2 million activities uploaded. Among Americans, the most active day is July 4 — contrary to the belief that most people sit around eating barbecue and setting off fireworks.

As for the most popular day of the week to work out overall: It’s Tuesday.

Strava year-end report

Turkey Trots Are a Big Deal

The most active day for the Strava running community might not be when you’d expect: November 23 — Thanksgiving in 2017! More people seem to be prefacing face-stuffing with road running in Turkey Trot races. Get that on the calendar next year!

Runners Are From Venus, Bikers Are From Mars

Those identifying as female on Strava uploaded more running information than any other sport. Bike riding and walking were in second and third, respectively.

For men, it was cycling, followed by running and swimming.

Strava year-end report

Goals Matter

Athletes who set goals through the Strava platform stayed more active all year long. Swimming took the top spot for users who set a distance goal. They stayed with the sport six months after starting with a goal.

For time-related goals, athletes stuck to cycling more than any other sport.

Coffee and Beer!

Beer topped the food shares list among Strava runners, but riders were seriously buzzing in the other direction. This year, cyclists were over five times more likely to be getting their fix via coffee.

Want Kudos? Add Emojis

This won’t be surprising if you spend a lot of time on social media, but activities with an emoji in the title received twice the amount of “kudos” (Strava’s virtual thumbs-up icon). Strava found that including an emoji in the workout title made users twice as likely to offer their congrats.

Emoji list

More Sports = More Workouts

Strava’s report also showed that those who did more than one activity uploaded more than twice as many workouts per month.

Commuting Is Cool (and Good for the Earth)

Running and biking to work are on the rise worldwide. According to Strava, run commuting is up 70 percent from 2017 (more than 21 million uploads) and biking to work is up almost 43 percent (84.6 million uploads).

And overall, Strava estimates those commutes offset more than 1.3 billion pounds of CO2.

Strava 2018 report

D.C. Is the Place to Be

Washington, D.C., tops the rest of America when it comes to commuting — runners and bikers there logged more activity commutes than anywhere else in the U.S.

For more interesting data, check for the Strava year-end sports report here.

tagged: Strava
By
Associate editor Julie Kailus has spent a career covering people, places, and products in the outdoor industry. Julie can be found testing the latest and greatest in her favorite activities — trail running, mountain biking, swimming, snowboarding, and the underrated endurance sport of chasing two sons around the mountains.
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