Part 1 of CivicScience’s State of Exercise Report covered recent trends in exercise and what the at-home workout spaces look like right now. The second part of our report takes a look at another area of exercise – sports. Between January and February, there was a slight increase in U.S. adults who like sports and are passionate about them. This could be attributed to the increase in professional sports games since the timing correlates with NHL and NBA seasons, NFL playoffs, and anticipation for the Super Bowl in early February. 

However, the number of people uninterested in sports began increasing after February.  By July the amount of U.S. adults uninterested in sports had become equal to those who like them (40%). It is also notable that the number of people passionate about sports has been in a constant decline since February.

U.S. adults feel just as comfortable playing team sports as they do working out at a gym, with the majority preferring to wait at least 6 more months and the second largest group of 22% comfortable now.

Similar to comfort returning to work out in gyms, the majority of U.S. adults would not be comfortable returning to play team sports until 6 or more months, no matter how important sports are in their lives. Although those passionate about sports are about 43% more likely to be comfortable now than those uninterested, 52% would still prefer to wait at least 6 months.

Men are more likely than women to report highly valuing sports — 27% of men responded as being passionate about sports. Right now, men are also about 36% more likely than women to say they feel comfortable playing team sports.

Sports are generally played by people who are younger in age, therefore it is not at all surprising that U.S. adults ages 18 – 24 are the most likely to be comfortable returning to team sports now and those 55+ are the least likely.

U.S. adults with annual incomes of $100,000 or more are the most likely to be comfortable playing team sports now (25%). While the difference is slight, U.S. adults with an income between $50,000 and $100,000 are the least comfortable returning to team sports now (22%).

U.S. adults are similarly comfortable returning to work out at a gym and returning to play team sports. Eighty-one percent of those comfortable working out in a gym now are also comfortable playing team sports now, and 89% of those who won’t be comfortable working out in a gym for 6 or more months are also not comfortable playing team sports for 6 or more months.

In general, how much a person values a specific method of exercise may influence their comfort returning to those activities, although not significantly. Many are ready now to return to traditional exercise activities such as working out at a gym or playing team sports.  That said, with the coronavirus pandemic being a continued concern, the majority of U.S. adults still prefer to wait at least 6 months until they return to their normal exercise routines, no matter their preferred method.