SpaChina summarizes and shares
NetEase’s 2022 Sports Life Survey
Looking back on 2022, it is not difficult to find that people’s enthusiasm to fitness has surged to a new high – from the Winter Olympics early this year, followed by Liu Genghong setting off a “national fitness” trend, to the recent World Cup craze, as well as the increasing popularity of frisbees, cycling, aerobics, and land surfing, more and more people have joined the world of sports and exercise. Many people believe that doing exercise has benefitted them a lot during the pandemic.
@Chengling from Guangdong, who has been running regularly for the past year, said: “I’ve gone from being too tired to run 3km to being able to complete 10km in one go.” @Xue ma, at the age of 38, learned dancing in 2022 and said: “Integrating exercising happily into my lifestyle makes me feel particularly satisfied.”
Have you learnt any new sport in 2022? Have you experienced any changes since starting to do exercise? Are the first group of netizens who followed Liu Genghong still doing the exercises? With these questions in mind, NetEase launched “Sports Life Survey 2022” on its online platform, targeting 3,701 sports lovers (50/50 male and female).
70% of female respondents have followed Liu Genghong’s sessions; but few males have.
When it comes to the hottest sport trend of the year, many will definitely say “Liu Genghong”. To get rid of the fat around the waist and train firm abs has been the common shout among Chinese young people. Liu Genghong’s workout livestream has far surpassed others in terms popularity and number of followers.
“What popular sports have you tried in 2022?” More than 70% of female respondents have replied: Liu Genghong’s workout routines.
However, the most obvious difference between male and female respondents in their choice of sport items is also the workout sessions led by Liu Genghong. Only 20% of male respondents have tried it, and it is even not ranked in the top 3 for them. For male sports lovers, outdoor activities tend to be more appealing, ranging from rope jumping, ball games, to cycling.
The survey also shows that women are more likely to try new sports. Women are more willing to participate in a new popular sport than men. Of the popular sport items this year, only 7.81% of female respondents said they haven’t participated in any of them while 23.55% of male respondents said so.
Surprisingly, Frisbee is quite popular among men. In addition, hiking, fencing and archery are coming into the lives of Chinese people.
@Jutiexiaowang, a self-proclaimed sport expert says: “Doing exercise is like looking for delicious food. As long as you are willing to try, you will always find the one that can satisfy you.” The younger generation is definitely serious about linking exercise to food just as they often say “Only when I have had enough food can I have the strength to do exercise and lose weight.” But to be honest, they don’t really care about losing weight.
There is the need to build muscle and lose fat, but the ultimate goal is to be happy
People have extensive choices today, but the survey shows that whatever the choice and whatever the reason for people to start exercising, the starting point for both men and women is the wish to be happy. The pandemic has already made young people realize in advance that “Life is too short, so seize the day to be happy”, something that used to be experienced only after middle age. Happiness is also linked to a change of state of mind and body.
A total of 80.91% of respondents want to lose fat, build muscles and become a “better me” through exercising, while 74.58% want to improve their fitness and stay healthy. People today not only understand that “Doing exercise is an investment in yourself”, but they also have a very systematic approach.
Interestingly, in terms of “reasons for choosing a certain sport”, least people choose “to be trendy and socializing”. Most respondents believe that the long-term popularity of an activity lies in the true benefits it brings instead of being just fashionable.
However, for some, doing exercise doesn’t always mean happiness: “Actually, it’s really painful.”, “It’s a torturous process of pushing yourself to your limits.” @Nidehuo says: “The goal of doing exercise is to be happy, so I choose to not take it too serious, and then I can be happier.” To sum up, whether one is actively trying out various activities or deciding to goof off, as long as it makes them happy, it is the right type of exercise.
The survey also shows that the most active people are Cantonese, followed by their counterparts in Beijing and Shanghai.
My wallet is losing weight faster than I am; Young people today are interested in branded sportswear
“There is no such thing as a free lunch”, is a saying that applies to doing exercise as well. @Bubutiao says: “When I decide to begin my workout routine, it is the moment my wallet begins to become thinner.”
In the past year, over 50% of respondents spent more money on sportswear than before. Data shows that the sportswear market in China reached 38.58 billion yuan in 2021, and is expected to reach 598.9 billion yuan by 2025. Behind that is young people’s growing enthusiasm for doing exercise. This also causes major fashion brands to launch more sportswear collections. The post-1995s, whether in casual or formal wear, will always put on a pair of trendy sports shoes.
In this regard, @Nihaomingtianhoutiandahoutian sums up: “I would call it an efficient strategy for self-management. We spend a lot of money in advance in order to force ourselves to do exercise regularly, otherwise it means our money is wasted!” “Before exercise begins, the outfit comes first.” Apparently, their determination and action power should not be underestimated.
Sports equipment ranking; Treadmills, elliptical trainer and spinning machines are at the bottom
The reality is often far away from one’s original plan. Many people rush to buy skateboards, Frisbees, tennis rackets and more. However, the usage rate turns out to be only 11.64%. When the novelty passes, one may regret the money spent.
The “treadmill, spinning machine and elliptical trainer” sees a usage rate of only 11.92%.
Isn’t there anything that you won’t regret paying money for it? Of course there is. For example, sportswear and sport shoes. They make exercising more comfortable and convenient, and can be worn daily even when you are not doing exercise. Also, the yoga mat. It is the best partner for yoga and stretching sessions. Even if not, you can just lie on it for a moment of relaxation with your cell phone in hand. Skipping rope is another good choice because it is both easy to use and cheap in price. Even if you don’t use it later, you won’t feel having wasted a lot of money.
Concerning the smart wearables, most respondents agree that it is necessary to have one even though they are not interested to share their data with others. And both male and female respondents have the same opinion: “Watching the numbers changing continually when doing exercise makes me so happy.” “When I wear it, I feel that I have become a self-disciplined and optimistic sportsman, and I am even more motivated to spin now.”
Spending money for sports necessities is quite common. But still there are some people who think that the outfit is not important and not worthy to be invested much in. Nearly 47.87% of the post-00s spend less than 500 yuan in sport outfit. Moreover, 15.96% of the post-00s boldly say: I haven’t spent even a coin on it.
A stark contrast is the post-80s and 85s. They would easily spend over 10,000 yuan for sport outfit. They, including some post-70s, want to prove: I am not weaker than younger people. I’m still strong. I can still work out vigorously! And most importantly, I have money and time!”
2022 National Sports Year
Over 60% of respondents do more sports than last year
Although the general idea is that “it is difficult to start doing exercise and even more difficult to persist”, there is a steep surge in people doing exercise in 2022. 61.45% of the respondents do more exercise this year than last. Among them, 25.88% are newcomers to the sport world. 35.57% of respondents have tried more types of sports this year than in previous years.
What influences the exercise habits of people today? Behind the increasing amount of exercise is changes in their life, work and health. Data shows that most people have exercised more due to the lockdown policy and the increased hours indoors. And 30% of respondents have exercised less or even stop exercising because of income decline.
People working at Internet companies are the most radical; Doing exercise at midnight
In the “national sport trend”, people are adjusting their exercise habits due to a variety of factors. After analyzing people’s exercise habits, we found that more than 50% of the respondents do exercise between 18:00 – 21:00, that is, after work. 10% of them strictly adhere to their exercise timetables.
Regarding the amount of exercise, people working at Internet companies are the most “radical”. 81.24% of them exercise more than twice a week, and 25.41% of them even exercise over 5 times a week. Many people may ask: don’t they need to work? They should be the busiest. In fact, among those who work to midnight or before dawn, 15.5% are people who work at Internet companies. Some of them get up to do exercise even before 6:00 am.
Concerning “the factors affecting exercise routines”, more than 35.57% of respondents choose “health problems”. Staying up late does harm to physical and mental health, and doing exercise is good for it. So guys working at internet companies, do you mean to offset the health problems caused by staying up late by doing more exercise? Does this really make sense? You have worked the whole night, are you sure that it’s time for doing exercise? You’d better have a sound sleep first.
Has Liu Genghong’s era gone?
The answer is: it’s not important
Recently, many news items have been saying Liu Genghong’s time is over. In the survey, over 40% of respondents say that they never follow Liu’s workout sessions and 50% of respondents show no interest in such a type of exercise.
People today are facing an extensive choice of sport activities, as well as the approaches to reach them, such as all kinds of sport APP, represented by KEEP, online fitness groups, fitness games and more. Nevertheless, Liu Genghong’s popularity hasn’t yet been surpassed so far. Almost 30% respondents say they have followed Liu’s sessions over 10 times. And 11.92% of those who tried Liu’s session still persist following the workout.
For such persistent followers, they have experienced many positive benefits. @Fengguodingxiangwu shared with us: “I have been following Liu’s sessions for five months now. Though I haven’t lost much weight, both my body functions and basal metabolism have increased. So I will continue.”
There is an answer to the question of whether Liu Genghong’s era has gone: “When we are doing any kind of exercise, it’s important to persist and reap the benefits step by step. We need to first consider our goal of doing the exercise and our true feelings in the process. We should focus on the exercise itself instead of a person or a trend. Only in this way can we enjoy the exercise in the long run.”
Sense of achievement; Doing exercise makes me feel proud
Doing exercise makes one happy, but may also make one “sad”. About 35.2% of respondents say they have been injured during exercising. SpaChina has once published an article “Sports injury is the most common health issue in doing sports.” So we would like to remind all sports fans: Pay attention especially to protecting your knees and ankles when doing exercise. Playwright Mayakovsky said: There is no more beautiful garment in the world than strong muscles and healthy skin. Exercise can benefit us a lot and change one from the inside out. But please don’t forget that a healthy body is the prerequisite to enjoy the exercising routines.
Some respondents raised the question: will there be a big difference before and after exercising regularly? How long should one persist to see an obvious change? People always have too many expectations and illusions. They hope that by doing regular exercise, they can lose fat, shape the body, become happy, and even reach the golden peak of life. KOLs are alluring at their videos: “When you persist doing the exercise, you will have a brand new life.” Their words are as tempting as the retouched selfies.
Too high an expectation often means stress and anxiety. Doing exercise often goes with invisible shackles: recording steps every day, strict control of calories in every meal and more. Once they fail to reach the goal, they immediately feel anxious and start “retaliatory exercising”.
Actually, you can feel more at ease when doing exercise. You can either try all kinds of activities or focus on a particular one that you like. You can either set a certain goal or take it easy and just enjoy the process. The important thing is that it’s a way to make you happy instead of giving you burdens.
And it’s totally fine if you don’t like doing exercise. There are many other things worth trying. For example, you can go to SPA. You will find relaxing bathing, de-stress aroma massage, beauty devices that help you shape the body, thermal treatments that boost immunity, and more. Please remember, to be happy is our ultimate goal!