Strava, the world’s largest sports community, today launches its annual Year in Sport report, revealing the 2021 activity trends from a community of 95 million global athletes.

In 2021, global activity rates on Strava continued to rise to new record levels, with over 37 million uploads per week, totalling 1.8 billion public uploads over the past 12 months.

Though the gradual return of some in-person events and races in 2021 has been much-anticipated for athletes, demand for community and connection online remain at an all-time high. This year’s 38% increase in activity uploads follows 2020’s surge of 1.1 billion uploads (a 33% increase vs. 2019).

Strava welcomed 2 million new athletes per month to its global community, which collectively logged over 20 billion miles this year.

Strava is now used by 17% of the population in the UK, making Year in Sport one of the most comprehensive analyses of the trends in British active lifestyles.

British athletes have emerged from the pandemic by going further and faster than ever before. Of the runners who joined Strava during the pandemic, there was a 1.8x increase in personal bests recorded in 2021.

British runners secured 2.4x more personal bests for half marathons, and 4x more personal bests for marathons – more than any other country in the world.

The UK also leads the world in terms of virtual challenges with 26.1m British athletes joining challenges on Strava over the last year.

Whilst the Year in Sport data suggests that Brits are living more active lifestyles compared to 2019, the data also shows that the type of activity is changing.

The UK has been revealed as the global capital for hiking and walking, with a 24% increase in walks uploaded to the Strava platform in 2021 compared to a global average of 16% – a trend that has spiked since the start of the pandemic last March.

On average, Brits are spending 3.5 hours a week walking, and walks saw the biggest increase in uploads than any other sport this year (2.1x), followed by yoga and other indoor workouts.

Walking and hiking is also seen as a gateway into more active lifestyles in the UK. 65% of UK walkers also record cycling or running activity and female runners and cyclists were 2.4x more likely to upload walks than men.

Strava’s Year in Sport report has also examined the impact of extreme weather on outdoor exercise around the world. Flooding, wildfires and extreme heat have reduced outdoor exercise in countries around the world. In the UK, activity fell by 32% in the UK between the 18th and 20thJanuary 2021 when Storm Cristoph hit the country.

Michael Horvath, CEO of Strava, comments: “Even as the global athletic community endured another year of pandemic disruptions and restrictions, we saw a persistent desire from athletes to stay connected and keep one another active. Athletes from every country on earth recorded and shared their runs, bike rides and lunchtime walks. And in turn, the community encouraged one another by doling out 9.6 billion kudos.”

“Every effort counts on Strava, and our team is thrilled to provide a platform for anyone who sweats to connect with their peers, find new places to be active, set goals for themselves, create clubs and challenge their friends. Strava is committed to creating positive impact in the areas that matter to us and our athletes: climate change, environmental racism and equity & inclusion in sport,” adds Horvath.

2021 Strava community totals at a glance

  • Over 95 million total athletes
  • About 2 million new athletes join every month
  • 1.8 billion activity uploads in the last 12 months
  • 20 billion miles covered
  • 189 thousand Strava Clubs created
  • 9.6 billion Kudos given

Download the full YIS 2021 report here