According to new data collected by IPSOS, in collaboration with the World Economic Forum, fitness is the most popular physical activity in the world, with 20% of respondents indicating that they participate in fitness in a normal week. The second and third most popular sports are running (19%) and cycling (13%), respectively.  
 
It is, however, important to note that the study also found that 38% of respondents indicated that they did not participate in any sport or exercise. These findings are in line with the Eurobarometer on sport and physical activity findings from 2018, which identified fitness as the largest participation sport in the EU and established that 46% of Europeans never do exercise or sport.  
 
These figures demonstrate the massive societal challenge in terms of inactivity levels, as well as the central and crucial role of the fitness and physical activity sector in tackling the inactivity problem. Fortunately, there are positive signs in terms of the recovery of the fitness and physical activity from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
During EuropeActive’s virtual pre-EHFF WARM-UP session on Wednesday September 8th, the latest figures since the reopening were presented, and the overall rebound of the sector in Europe is remarkably positive. Many operators have reported strong new joiner numbers and increasing membership, as well as stronger usage in comparison with pre-covid. These remain volatile and challenging times, but the initial data suggests that the fundamentals for the sector are now stronger than they have ever been before.  
 
The 2021 European Health and Fitness Forum will take place virtually on Wednesday November 3rd. More information here 
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Sep 16, 2021 By Pauline Joskin