Trends are contagious, both when they are growing as well as when they are declining. Think about it. We see new trends nearly every day, adopt them, but then just as often we quit those trends. This is not just a lone event of one person though. Social networks are strong components in helping us decide what to adopt.
According to research, many health behaviors are fundamentally contagious ideas. Basically, your social network can predict health, weight, and exercise (even stock prices). A timely case that illustrates this movement is Peloton, which reached a high during the pandemic, only to plummet a year later as the pandemic waned.
How do we get ‘infected’ with the contagion? Social networks lead consumers to catch the trend, live with it, and then move on to new trends. During the pandemic, it was all about fitness at home, online training, and connected exercise equipment. We couldn’t go to the gym and many sports were suspended, leading to more investment in home-based fitness. However, now that pandemic restrictions have been removed, we’ve gone back to the gym and sports teams.
Research conducted by the American College of Sports Medicine shows us how trends move in cycles: Pilates, Zumba, Cross Fit, spinning, and boot camps are all examples. Even exercises with staying power, such as yoga and running, move into new variants and practices to survive. Some of the top fitness trends for 2022 include:
- Wearable technology
- Home exercise gyms
- Outdoor activities
- Strength training with free weights
What trends do you think will stick around?
Group Activities and Discussion Questions:
- Divide students into teams. Have each team list past fitness trends they have tried?
- What helps a trend stick around?
- What leads trends to quickly fade out?
- Using Peloton as an example of trends, show video about Peloton’s life cycle: https://www.wsj.com/video/series/wsj-explains/why-peloton-spun-out-what-happened-to-the-bike-and-treadmill-firm/30FEB49E-85EE-4719-9B6D-F7E44D195CE5
- View ACSM report on fitness trends: https://journals.lww.com/acsm-healthfitness/Fulltext/2022/01000/Worldwide_Survey_of_Fitness_Trends_for_2022.6.aspx
- Discuss the stages in the product life cycle. What are the marketing objectives in each stage?
- Divide students into teams. Have each team draw a product life cycle and place various fitness and health trends into each stage.
- Next, have students brainstorm on how to reposition or revise products/services to that they can move into an earlier stage of the life cycle.
- Have teams draw a product life cycle. Place different fitness and health trends on the PLC.
Source: American College of Sports Medicine (30 December 2021). Wearable tech named top fitness trend for 2022.; Zumbrun, J. (9 September 2022). Both sickness and health, it turns out, are contagious. Wall Street Journal.