ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® has published the annual results from ACSM’s Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends in its January/February 2024 issue. Since 2006, the ACSM Worldwide Fitness Trends survey has gathered input from practitioners, clinicians and researchers in the fitness industry. It is designed to provide input on fitness trends as opposed to “fads” that have little or no impact on the industry.
This year’s special issue on worldwide fitness trends represents a change of the guards. Walter Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, ends his exceptional work with the annual survey after 17 years of service and ACSM welcomes the new Trends Work Group, led by A’Naja Newsome, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP, EIM, who will carry forward and continue to grow the legacy established by Dr. Thompson. Click here to learn more about the history of this project.
The Trends Work Group for the 2024 survey and article includes the following industry professionals:
Chair and Fitness Trends Spokesperson-- A’Naja Newsome, Ph.D., ACSM-CEP, EIM
Survey Expert – Cayla McAvoy, Ph.D., ACSM-EP
Survey Expert – Rachelle Reed, Ph.D., M.S., ACSM-EP, NASM-CNC
International Representative – Alexios Batrakoulis, Ph.D., ACSM-EP, ACSM-CPT, EIM, CSCS
Industry Representative – Matthew W. Parrott, Ph.D.
ACSM’s Committee on Certification and Registry Boards (CCRB) Representative -- Jessica Sansone, Ph.D., M.S., ACSM-EP, EIM
Associate Editor-in-Chief Paul Gallo, Ed.D., FACSM, ACSM-EP, ACSM-CEP, ACSM-GEI, oversees the annual trends issue and has worked in conjunction with Editor-in-Chief Brad Roy, Ph.D., FACSM, ACSM-CEP, and Newsome to assemble this outstanding team.
The survey predicts the top 20 fitness trends in the United States and around the world. For 2024, findings were combined from two surveys, ACSM’s Worldwide Fitness Trends and Fitness Trends from Around the Globe, to provide a more wide-ranging but regionally sensitive perspective. The authors also organized the individual trends into thematic categories: Digital Technology, Exercise Setting, Special Populations, Programming, Fitness Business Model, Medical Fitness and Training Modality.
According to Dr. Newsome, the hope is that this combined publication, and the addition of trend categories, will allow readers to understand trends predicted to drive the health and fitness industry here in the U.S. and abroad.
Here are the top 10 trends for 2024:
Wearable Technology. Think fitness trackers, smart watches, heart rate monitors, and GPS tracking devices, including tech that can monitor heart rate, calories, sitting time, sleep and more.
Worksite Health Promotion. Work-related programs and perks that increase employee wellness. (*First time in the top ten)
Fitness Programs for Older Adults. Interventions focused on the unique needs of the aging population.
Exercise for Weight Lose. Incorporating weight loss programs such as dieting and culinary interventions alongside an exercise routine.
Employing Certified Exercise Professionals. Employing certified health and fitness professionals who have completed educational programs and fully accredited health/fitness certifications.
Mobile Exercise Apps. Smartphone and related applications that aid in exercise performance or programming. (*First time in the top ten)
Exercise for Mental Health. Improving mental well-being through physical activity. (*First time in the top ten)
Youth Athletic Development. Engaging young people in sports and related activities. (*First time in the top ten)
Personal Training. Personal training includes goal setting, fitness assessment and exercise programming with a trainer in one-on-one settings.
The 2024 Fitness Trends announcement has included both strong traditional media and social media engagement. A news release was distributed on December 28 and again on January 2 and has resulted in more than 60 news stories both nationally and internationally. Media hits with the highest reach include stories appearing in Politico (17 M), Yahoo! Lifestyle (10 M) and WTOP-FM in Washington, D.C. (2.3 M). Other placement has appeared across the nation - from KCBS in San Franciso to the Idaho Statesman to the Dayton Daily News and the Charlotte Observer, as well as placement in India, Spain and Brazil. Here’s a sampling of 2024 Fitness Trends stories: