FitXR Survey: Consumers Prefer ‘Social’ and Embrace the Rise of Virtual Reality Fitness

Over half of respondents work out regularly, and many prefer non-traditional workouts and have a strong interest in the social aspects of fitness

LONDON – September 4, 2019 – FitXR, a pioneer in virtual reality (VR) fitness games, today announced survey results covering consumer attitudes about workout preferences, “social” fitness interactions and VR usage.

The survey data highlights a strong consumer trend of preferring to work out alone, at the gym or elsewhere, that is supplemented or replaced by running, watching fitness videos and other activities. Having a social element to their workouts was also important to a high percentage of respondents. And a small – though high-usage – group owns VR headsets for gaming and other activities, including exercise.

Some 69% of consumers prefer to work out individually, yet more than half (56%) said the social aspects of fitness are important to their progress, with 43% stating that social fitness motivates them to do their best. The social aspect of their workouts also makes consumers more accountable (36%), and nearly a third (32%) said that group workouts allow them to meet more people. 

Digging a little deeper into the social aspects of fitness topic, when asked what they would be willing to give up rather than “social fitness,” the results represented a range of people’s enjoyable activities: 32% would give up their morning Starbucks; 30% said their nightly cocktail; 28% said avocado toast; 22% would ditch their Netflix subscription; and, on the opposite end of the spectrum, 25% said they wouldn’t give up anything because they don’t find social fitness important.

At the highest level, the survey illustrates that most people work out regularly, with just over 60% of respondents reporting “regular” workouts. Additionally, 98% of consumers schedule workouts at least once per week, with 30% working out daily. In terms of preferences, working out at the gym was the clear favorite at 48%, followed by running (33%), hiking (25%) and free YouTube exercise videos (24%). The survey data also illustrates that consumers are ready to embrace the benefits of non-traditional workouts, like VR workouts, home fitness subscriptions and more. Some 69% wanted to work out from the comfort of home, saying that home workouts are cheaper than a monthly gym membership (49%) and they can do it without the judgment of others (49%).

Consumers are also embracing technology-enabled fitness, a logical next step for the market. Over 20% of respondents said they own a VR headset, with 14% of that group saying they use VR hardware for working out. Overall, more than 6% of respondents said they use VR headsets during workouts, and VR was also cited for adventure activities that people might not do in real life – like rock climbing and mountain biking – which came in at 15%. And 41% said they would be open to short, one-to-two minute “fitness breaks” during long video gaming sessions, with 33% saying it would be a good way to reset and get their body moving and 26% said they’d “love that idea.” Nearly 21% said they would link nontraditional workouts to their social channels and share results and progress with friends.

“The survey results support the main reasons that we started FitXR – that people are interested in working out in ways that don’t involve just going to the gym, and they welcome the use of technology like VR to do it,” said Sam Cole, co-founder of FitXR. “VR isn’t just for gamers. Anyone can use BoxVR to enjoy the convenience, social aspect and high-end fitness experiences they crave to supplement or replace the traditional, out-of-home workout experience.”

About the survey

The survey, conducted in partnership with Propeller Insights, polled more than 1,100 consumers in the U.S. It represented a near-even gender split and age group representation. Ages ranged from 18 to 74 (plus a smaller percentage over age 75). 

About FitXR

FitXR is breaking new ground in virtual fitness, helping to define the category with award-winning games and services for all popular virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR) and mixed reality (MR) platforms as they become available. The company’s first fitness app, BoxVR, has won multiple awards and been described as “Guitar Hero crossed with a studio boxing workout.” FitXR is building a suite of pro-quality fitness games to give anyone, anywhere, the precise workout experience they want, whenever they want it.

Michael George