Strava analyzed all our activities and found that boomers bike, Gen Z likes the party pace and we’re all held back by work

Strava’s Year in Sport takes an analytical deep dive into the habits of 120 million athletes world wide. Where do you fit in?

iPhone app store displaying Strava app
(Image credit: Getty)

Today, Strava released its annual Year in Sport report, highlighting the global trends among active people. 

For its report, Strava took a deep analytical dive into the billions of activities uploaded by its 120 million users between October 1, 2022, and September 30, 2023. Strava took a particular interest in what motivates active people and supplemented its activity data with a survey of 6,990 active people – both users and nonusers of the Strava platform.

The report, available here, shows a global trend toward all things unpaved, be it trail running or gravel riding; social connections trending as the biggest motivator to exercise; and conversely, work-related time constraints is why we don’t exercise more. 

Some standout stats:

- Over half of Strava athletes say they’re most motivated by friends or family members who exercise; and 77% of Gen Z athletes say they feel more connected to others when seeing their friends or family’s activities on Strava. 

Celebrities and influencers ranked as the lowest of motivators – even for Gen Z and Millennials.

- Pets are a great motivator to get moving: 76% of Strava athletes with pets say their furry friends helped them get out the door when they wouldn’t go otherwise

- Hurdles to workout routines come in the form of work, with two-thirds of Strava athletes globally and 70% of US Strava athletes stating that a lack of time due to work is a top barrier to working out.

- Climate change also has its impacts on workout routines, with 75% of athletes on Strava stating that extreme heat affected their exercise plans in 2023 – and poor air quality affected 27%.

- There was a 55% increase globally in Strava athletes uploading gravel rides.

- 84% of athletes on Strava globally (and 87% of athletes on Strava in the U.S) say exercise –even solo– helps them combat loneliness. 

Strava median speed and distance - 2023 report

(Image credit: Strava)

Generational Differences

Strava categorized its findings by generation, so as a reminder, here are the age ranges for the mentioned generations.

Boomers: age 57-75
Gen X: age 43-56
Millennials, a.k.a Gen Y: age 27-42
Gen Z: age 11-26

Being the youngest age group mentioned, it is no surprise that Gen Z athletes are globally the least likely to exercise for health alone and most likely to exercise in the pursuit of athletic performance. Gen Z athletes uploaded the fastest median run and ride speeds, though in the U.S., Gen Z logged the fastest runs but slowest rides – and their runs and rides were also the shortest.

Globally, the median speed and distance of rides uploaded by Gen Z users was 14 miles with a pace of 12.9mph. Boomers, however, had a median distance of 20.9 miles at a pace of 12.6mph.

Perhaps, Gen Z’s shorter rides is due to their embracing of bike commuting. Globally, Gen Z users make up 17% of Strava bike commuters, which is an 8% increase from five years ago. In the U.S., 18% of bike commuters on Strava were Gen Z, up from 9% five years ago.

The dominant share of bike commuters were Millennials.

In 2023, Boomers were twice as likely to upload rides than runs, whereas Gen Z users were the opposite.

Check out the report here.

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