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Strava records 1.8bn activities in 2021 as connected fitness growth continues

Exercise application records more users, activities, and distance covered even as lockdown restrictions lift.

7 December 2021 Steve McCaskill
Strava records 1.8 bn activities in 2021 as connected fitness remains popular


  • Strava adds two million new users each month
  • Users run, walk, and cycle a combined 20.9 billion km
  • 95 million people now use the service

The number of activities recorded by connected fitness application Strava rose by 38 per cent in 2021, suggesting that the market will continue to grow even as pandemic restrictions are lifted around the world.

Strava, like many other platforms such as Peloton and Zwift, saw a surge in popularity during 2020 due to the suspension of organised sport and the closure of gyms. The return of in-person events and races, as well as the reopening of exercise facilities, has not dimmed the popularity of Strava, however.

Two million new users have signed up for the service each month during the past year, bringing its user base to 95 million.

In total, Strava recorded 37 million uploads a week during 2021, amounting to 1.8 billion across the whole year. This is a significant rise from the 1.1 billion witnessed in 2020.

“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,” said Strava chief executive Michael Horvath. “Athletes from every country on earth recorded and shared their runs, bike rides and lunchtime walks.”

Running and cycling are among the most popular activities, but walking is also common across all demographics. Collectively, users ran 3.8 billion kilometres, cycled 16 billion kilometres, and walked 1.1 billion kilometres. Cross country skiing saw the biggest growth of any sport, with the number of uploads rising more than twofold.

While it is obviously possible to exercise in isolation, many people value the community aspect of connected fitness applications. More than 189,000 new clubs were created in 2021, while there were significant increases in the number of challenges and social interactions. There was also a 58 per cent increase in photos attached to uploads.

The data also shows the impact of severe weather events on sporting activity, with users more likely to exercise indoors or not at all when there is extreme heat or storms.

“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,” added Horvath. “Strava is committed to creating positive impact in the areas that matter to us and our athletes: climate change, environmental racism and equity and inclusion in sport.”

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