Garmin Connect discovers a world of pain and gain


Garmin Connect is used by millions of people worldwide to track, analyse and share data from their smartwatches and fitness devices and gives a fascinating snapshot of how behavior is changing among its customers.

Garmin’s latest report wraps up what its devices and software have learned throughout 2021, and found that Connect users have been doing more exercise throughout the year compared to 2020 when pandemic restrictions were at their peak.


Interestingly, exercise of all types were up, not just the sort that can be done in front of a Youtube video at home.

Walking and running

Connect users took 37.13% more walks in 2021 and 11.58% more trail runs.

South America saw the greatest increase in trail running, up by 37.6% compared to 2020 and Western Europe logging an additional 14.52% trail runs.


Outdoor cycling as a whole grew globally in 2021, but off road riding was particularly popular with an increase of 50%.


Indoor activities like yoga and pilates, which soared in popularity during 2020, continued to rise in 2021.

Garmin Connect users registered a rise of 45.55% in yoga workouts and 108.3% for pilates.

Europeans appear to be much more regular yogis than the rest of the world. Eastern European countries logged an 85.02% increase in yoga activities in 2021, with Western European countries close behind at 65.57%. In contrast, North Americans only managed 34.39% more activities than the year before.

People flocked to the golf course in 2021 with Garmin Connect users across the globe playing 28.35% more rounds in 2021.

Indoor vs. Outdoor

Interestingly, the growth rate for indoor activities was higher than for outdoors.

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  1. Hey Rob, I love seeing this, but was curious about how much of these rapid increases are simply a result of the rise in popularity of wearables. The concept of tracking a workout (without pencil and paper) is relatively new for non-pros. I’ve been hitting the roads, trails, and water regularly for over 30 years, but according to Garmin, I’d just laced up for the first time last year. Kind regards!


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