Humans need to move their bodies. Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and reputable resources around the world time and again preach the countless benefits of consistent physical activity, from overall well-being to a longer lifespan. 

CivicScience recently polled thousands of Americans on how they choose to exercise and discovered 38% rarely or never exercise. Exercising at home is more popular – 52% of U.S. adults say they exercise regularly (weekly to monthly) at home, while 28% exercise regularly at a gym.

At-home exercisers are over 21% more likely than gym goers to say they work out once a week or more, meaning some aspect of being at home leads to more frequent exercise.

Gyms vs. Home Workouts: Convenience Is King

U.S. adults say convenience is the primary reason why they choose to exercise at home vs. the gym – cost was only the driver for 15% of respondents. While this number is not a total surprise when considering how easy it is to just pop down to your basement or even go for a run around the block, gym membership can be pricey. Yet even during a time of economic uncertainty, paying for a gym is less of a consideration than ease of exercising. 

While CivicScience data show a correlation between higher incomes and more frequent exercise, no significant trend connects wealth and exercising in gyms. In fact, there are more people making $150K and working out at home than people making $150K and working out at a gym.

In-home Gyms: Young Renters Are Looking to Buy

Equipment and space requirements for exercise are what draw people to gyms more than any other reason, according to recent CivicScience data. So what does the home exercise equipment market look like today? Data show 40% of adults own or have access to gym equipment at home, while 51% aren’t interested in a home gym. Nine percent aren’t owners but plan to purchase gym equipment, a percentage that hasn’t fluctuated up or down over the last several quarters. In fact, those in the market for home gym equipment hasn’t changed since the early days of the pandemic.

Homeowners are more likely than renters to own or have access to home gym equipment (43% to 31%), however renters are more likely to be in the market for equipment. Intent to purchase equipment is also highest among adults aged 18-34.

Peloton and Guided Workouts Post-Pandemic

What types of gym equipment are people looking to purchase? Peloton’s high-end exercise bike and guided workout subscription model rose to prominence over the COVID-19 pandemic, as gyms shuttered. Following its recent rebrand announcement, and despite introducing its rowing machine, interest in Peloton has not fluctuated since September 2022. Eleven percent of adults own or have used a Peloton machine, and 8% still intend to buy one (among those familiar with Peloton). Those who aren’t interested dominate percentages at 82%.

Experience with guided, at-home workouts hasn’t changed over the last six months, either. Usage still rests around 20%, with intent to use guided workouts at 14%. 

Interest in Peloton and guided workouts still exists post-pandemic, but how Peloton’s marketing unfolds over the next several quarters will be key to watch. Overall, consumers are continuing to embrace home exercising over gym membership, although intent to purchase gym equipment does not appear to be growing. Check back in for more on at-home fitness trends, including interest in Peloton and other fitness market leaders – or work with us to get ahead of the curve.