After the lockdown, Poles most often engage in activities that ensure high training intensity or those that support psychophysical balance and the development of the whole body. The return to regular exercise results from the holiday motivation to lose excessive pandemic kilograms and above all from the need to exercise and strengthen immunity. Currently, one in three Poles believe that regular physical activity has the greatest impact on reducing the risk of a severe course of COVID-19 and over 40% of the society say that a visit to a fitness club would improve their mental and physical health.
According to the survey conducted on the Ariadna panel for Benefit Systems, nearly 90% of Polish residents struggle with back pain and 13% declare that this problem has worsened during the pandemic. Moreover, 61% of Poles admitted that the restrictions and the related changes in lifestyle had a negative impact on their mental condition.
– In recent years, especially during the pandemic, public awareness of the importance of physical activity in everyday life has increased significantly. As many as one in five inhabitants of our country believe that a visit to a gym or a fitness club would improve their psychophysical health. One in three Poles believe that it is regular exercise that has the greatest impact on reducing the risk of a severe course of COVID-19. Today we can see that these are not empty declarations. Poles return to sports facilities more and more willingly. In the scale of the entire first month after the lockdown, compared to the corresponding period of 2020, we observe an increased interest in both organised activities and individual training. Seeing this tendency, we gradually add new classes to our schedules. The fact that now more people can participate in them than at the beginning of June, because the limit has been reduced from 15 to 10 square meters per person, is also s good news – adds Tomasz Groń.
Poles who train in fitness clubs like to sweat
Currently, medium and high-intensity classes that strengthen selected muscle groups as well as those that support metabolism, such as TABATA, HIIT or cross, are the most popular ones in fitness clubs. The body and mind exercises, mainly yoga and a healthy spine, are also very trendy.
– Poles are looking for support in the fight against the problems that arose during the pandemic. Hence the popularity of activities supporting the reduction of unnecessary kilograms or improving the health of the spine. Workouts using sports equipment, including cross training, are also very popular. At the same time, we can see that after the lockdown, customers of our chains want to undertake physical activity consciously, being well prepared for their workouts. One in three of them have already used the special, free online training materials that we have prepared for customers to facilitate safe return to activity after a break – explains Tomasz Groń.
Who practices sports during the pandemic?
According to the MultiSport Programme data, in the first month after the lockdown, the most visited facilities were gyms and fitness clubs. Swimming pools, tennis courts as well as dance and yoga schools are also very popular. Among the activities undertaken outdoors, we most often choose cycling and jogging. These activities are chosen by one in three physically active inhabitants of Poland.
– In 2021, the largest group among physically active Poles are people from 18 to 49 years of age (76%), residents of cities with a population of over half a million (81%) and those with an income above 3,000 PLN (78%). The most physically active inhabitants of Poland live Świętokrzyskie (82% of people are active at least once a month), Warmińsko-Mazurskie (77%), Podkarpackie (76%), Lubuskie (74%) and Małopolskie (72%) – explains Dr. Adam Waszkowski, Head of Analysis Department at Benefit Systems.
There are still special safety rules in place in the facilities such as the need to disinfect hands or sports equipment by customers. Apart from the time they are engaged in physical activity, customers are also required to wear masks. However, according to the MultiSport Index report, as many as 94% of Poles who use sports facilities during the pandemic feel safe in them.
The report also says that as many as 32% of Polish residents still do not take up any physical activity, including walks, and 43% do not meet the minimum recommendations of the World Health Organisation regarding the suggested dose of exercise, which for adults is 150 to 300 minutes of moderate exercise per week.
Senior PR Specialist Benefit Systems
Benefit Systems has been operating on the Polish market since 2001. It is the creator of the MultiSport Programme which enables employees and their families to undertake physical activity both in sports facilities and at home. Thanks to the wide offer, users can take care of themselves comprehensively, using the sports infrastructure and additional attractions (including online training or sports challenges available at www.kartamultisport.pl). The company also has nearly 160 fitness clubs in Poland that operate within the following chains: Zdrofit, Fitness Academy, My Fitness Place, Fabryka Formy, Step ONE, S4 Fitness and FitFabric. More information on sports facilities and the Proprietary Healthy Activity Programme which is run in Benefit Systems’ own chains can be found at https://czasnazdrowyruch.pl/ and yes2move.com. The offer of non-financial sport benefits is also successfully developed by the Group in the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Bulgaria, Croatia and since 2021 also in Turkey.
MultiSport Index is a cyclic survey of the level of physical and sports activity of Poles conducted by Kantar for Benefit Systems. The survey provides information on how Poles practice sport, their motivation and needs in the field of physical activity. The latest MultiSport Index 2021 survey was conducted on 15-18 January 2021 on a representative, random sample of 1,000 Polish residents over 18 years of age.
Other data used in the press release:
• Benefit Systems data from the analysis of the activity of the MultiSport Programme users.
• The survey conducted for Benefit Systems on the Ariadna panel on 19-22 March 2021. Nationwide random-quota sample: N=1,085 people aged 18 and over. Quotas were selected according to the representation in the population for gender, age and size of the place of residence. Method: CAWI.
• The survey conducted on the Ariadna panel for Benefit Systems on a nationwide sample of N=1,072 people. The quotas were selected according to the representation in the population of Poles aged 18 and over for gender, age and size of the place of residence. Date: 16-19 April 2021. Method: CAWI.