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“2023: Reflected” Report, Shows Physical Activity, Sports, And Sleep Trends

infographic interface over low section of woman running on treadmill

Polar, the personal guidance for fitness, sport, and health, has announced the release of its “2023: Reflected” report, revealing global activity, sports, and sleep trends.

With walking emerging as the second most tracked activity globally, this year’s findings confirm the commitment to moderate-intensity physical activity as a form of staying active and nurturing personal wellness. 

Walking makes up nearly 16% of all tracked workouts by Polar users. On average, users in all age groups log 2.73 miles (4.4 km) per walk in 65 minutes, people reached the pace and amount needed for gaining health benefits by walking.

Those figures matched the pace and cadence suggested by a review of walking studies published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. The researchers found brisk walking required a pace of about 2.7 miles (4.3km) per hour.

“Embracing the vitality of moderate intensity physical activity is not just a step towards a healthier body — it’s a stride towards happier lives,” says Dr Raija Laukkanen from the Polar Research Centre.

“Anyone pursuing an active lifestyle will discover motivation and guidance on Polar watches and through our smart coaching features, such as the Walking Test and the Running Performance Test, designed to cater to all fitness levels.”

With a growing awareness of the relationship between physical activity and quality sleep, people everywhere are also paying attention to their sleep. 

More people are wearing their watches at night for insights into their health and wellness. “2023: Reflected” reveals that Polar users are getting the recommended amount of sleep, waking up at 7:02 am and going to bed at 11:32 pm.

Adequate sleep duration contributes to a positive sleep score of 73 out of 100. In addition to duration, Polar’s sleep score analyses key sleep metrics and considers other critical components, including interruptions, continuity, and restorative sleep stages.

In 2023, running continued to be the most popular sport. According to this year’s data, running made up 19.22% of all tracked workouts by Polar users.

Tracked runners did 4.84 miles (7.8km), roughly the same as running across Manhattan from the Brooklyn Bridge to the middle of Central Park. For those who went the distance in 2023, there was an average marathon time of 4 hours and 10 minutes.

“2023: Reflected” is based on anonymised data from millions of Polar users worldwide and provides a benchmark that offers users the opportunity to compare their workout, activity, and sleep data to different trends in their country and globally. All Polar users can look back at their yearly stats on their Polar Flow account.

Key findings from “2023: Reflected” report:

Top sports

Over 150+ different sports are tracked by Polar users.

The most popular sports are running, walking, strength training, cycling, and indoors.

Weekly Activity

Polar users exercise 5 hours 39 minutes every week on average.

Tuesday is the most popular day for exercise.

Running

The average distance per run is 4.84 miles (7.8km).

Strength Training

The average duration of a strength workout is 65 minutes.

Cycling

The average distance per ride is 12.17 miles (19.6km).

Pool Swimming

The average distance per workout is 2,174 meters.

Hiking

The average distance per workout is 4.47 miles (7.2km).

The average ascent per workout is 305 meters.

Sleep

The average sleep score: 73.

The average sleep duration: 7 hours and 29 minutes.

The average wake time: 7:03 am.

The average bedtime: 11:32 pm.

*The presented user data within the Polar Flow ecosystem across multiple Polar devices and 20+ markets are anonymous and from research done by the Polar Research Centre.

The research included a total sample size of 3 million users. Results were pulled from Polar user data captured between December 2022 – November 2023.

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