Latest Fitbit data reveals renewed interest in stress-reducing activities during COVID-19

Since March, the world has adapted to pandemic lockdowns and it’s no surprise that our health and fitness routines have changed as a result.

New global data from Fitbit has revealed how Fitbit users in Singapore and across APAC have embraced a more sedentary lifestyle this year with overall activity decreasing and pivoted to new stress-relieving activities to help manage our new normal.

To identify the differences the pandemic has driven in the Fitbit community around the globe, the Fitbit research team analyzed aggregated, anonymous population level data from Fitbit users; ages 18 to 80 with a BMI of 15 to 60, from across tens of million Fitbit users, for the period of March 1 to August 31, 2020 as compared to the same time period in 2019. This includes analysing data on step counts, active minutes, and activity types.

The following data set represents users from selected APAC markets including Australia, China, Hong Kong, India, Japan, New Zealand, The Philippines and Singapore.

Key Singapore findings:

  • There was a major shift and focus on mental wellness and stress management while staying indoors among Singapore Fitbit users in 2020, where activities such as meditation, yoga and Pilates saw spikes in uptake 
  • Meditation alone emerged as the go-to activity amongst Fitbit users in Singapore, with an increase in uptake by 6,128% 
  • Singaporeans improved their sleep, which increased by 25 minutes during the lockdown, and 20 minutes post-lockdown vs. 2019 sleep averages
  • However, Singaporeans still had one of the lowest sleep durations in APAC in 2020

Key APAC findings:

  • Meditation, Yoga and Pilates saw huge increases in 2020 across APAC, mirroring the global trend, with meditation, in particular, seeing massive gains in popularity among Fitbit users across the region
  • Activity (steps and active minutes) levels across the region increased as restrictions eased, but not more than pre-pandemic levels
  • Hong Kong took the most steps in APAC during lockdown (Mar-May 2020) and as restrictions eased (Jun – Aug 2020), replacing Singapore as the country with the highest step count in the region.
  • Most countries saw their lockdown gains in sleep duration reverse as they reopened
  • The regional average Resting Heart Rate (RHR) improved during the lockdown and stayed the same even as countries reopened. When compared against 2019 RHR, every single country saw an improvement.