Fit tech has become a tool of hope since the beginning of the coronavirus lockdown, offering health and fitness operators and professionals a fighting chance to save their businesses.
The adrenaline and urgency of the moment have driven the industry to fast track change. We estimate the COVID-19 emergency has accelerated the adoption of technology in the fitness industry by at least a decade in the space of just a few weeks.
Experts calculate that more than half the world’s gyms have been closed at some point during the pandemic, locking out hundreds of millions of members.
The impact of this displacement on the sector has been nothing less than revolutionary, with people in lockdown pining for their exercise fix and health and fitness operators and exercise professionals turning to technology to connect.
Live streaming and on-demand content have exploded to the point where every major gym operator now has a digital offering – many of them developed and launched within a matter of days, showing the huge resourcefulness and energy of the sector.
Deals have been done between competitors, collaborations have yielded new products and an array of new tech set-ups are being used to stay in touch with customers, monetise services, deliver remote and streaming workouts and keep companies and people in business.
The world has changed. The new future will be based on tech in a way that wouldn’t have seemed possible even a few weeks ago.
Now operators and fitpros have tasted the power of tech, there’s no going back. We expect the pivot to digital to continue, for tech to be refined and to bed down to be part of the infrastructure of the industry in a symbiotic relationship with gyms.
The pandemic has drawn the attention of everyone – including governments and corporations – to the fundamental importance of good health, as it emerges this is a major determinant when it comes to COVID-19 survival rates and outcomes.
When the storm has passed and we’re able to reflect on what has happened, it will become clear that being fit must be given far higher priority on a lifelong basis and we expect fitness technology to be one of the major drivers of this revolution to come.