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Strava ‘Year in Sport’ data shows how users are going back to normal – and how they aren’t

World Population 8 Billion (Copyright 2022. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)
World Population 8 Billion (Copyright 2022. The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

The world of sport appears to be returning to normal, according to new research from Strava – at least in some ways.

The sports social network released its end of year data, showing that many of the routines that began during the pandemic appear to have stuck. People are still taking part in far more trail sports than ever before, for instance, and the number of people on e-bikes continues to rise, up 26 per cent this year.

The ‘Year in Sport’ data also showed that much of the world appears to be getting back to normal. The number of runners completing a marathon nearly doubled compared with 2021, when many races were cancelled because of lockdown.

What’s more, the fastest growing sports happened in the kind of locations that were closed early in the pandemic.

And the company’s data showed that international travel appears to be coming back, with athletes uploading 101 per cent more activities in other countries compared with the year before. That is just 3 per cent down on pre-pandemic numbers in 2019, though the number of people using Strava surged during the pandemic.

As in previous years, the data showed that people tended to exercise more when they did so in a group. Cyclists, for instance, went nearly twice as far in a pair as they did on their own.

Strava also tracks when people commute either on foot or on the bike. Previous years’ data showed the full extent of lockdowns, with commuting dropping rapidly in 2020 – but it is now on its way back to normal.

Some cities saw a particular rise in the number of commutes. In Paris, for instance – which used the pandemic to make its city considerably more cycling friendly – biking commutes were up 97 per cent compared with 2019.