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China Attitudes Towards Fitness Market Report

Everything you need to make the right decisions

Providing the most comprehensive and up-to-date information and analysis of the Attitudes Towards Fitness market, and the behaviours, preferences and habits of the consumer.

Mintel has the answers you’re looking for

What are the key challenges facing the industry and how fast are its rates of growth? Who is the consumer and what do they want? Where are the opportunities, where are the risks and what lies ahead?

Covered in this Report

This Report looks into Chinese consumers’ attitudes towards sports (especially comparing the role of sports with healthy eating) and explores the distinctive characteristics, values and preferences of Chinese sports lovers (ie New Trends Followers and Sports Enthusiasts).

This Report also uncovers what are the most popular sports, what prevent people from doing sports (especially in fitness centres or gyms), where people do sports most often, how people’s purchase preferences have evolved regarding various sports-related categories (especially regarding premiumisation opportunities) and people’s favourite sports brands.

What you need to know

The Chinese government has recognised the important role of sports in developing a more prosperous, proud and happy society and building a high profile in the international stage. As a result, health and fitness are placed at the top of the nation’s priority list and Chinese people have become involved in fitness and sports participation more than ever. On the other hand, fitness activities are rising to be a popular leisure choice, as an increasing number of celebrities and influencers post their workout selfies on social media. The prevalence of the fitness trend not only benefits the sports gear, apparel and technology (eg wearables) industry but also drives the growth of the market of sports-related food (eg energy bars) and drinks (eg sports drinks, energy drinks).

Expert analysis from a specialist in the field

Written by Alina Ma, a leading analyst in the Leisure sector, her extensive knowledge delivers in-depth commentary and analysis to highlight current trends and add expert context to the numbers.

Participating in sports is no longer just for the development of physical strength, but also seen as a trendy lifestyle choice. Driven by fear of missing out, people are eager to go with this tide as shown by the fast-growing desire for splurging on sports gear and apparel, going to fitness centres and building home gyms. Alina Ma
Leisure Analyst

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The consumer
            • Healthy eating vs exercise, which contributes more to overall health?
              • Figure 1: Attitudes towards role of healthy eating vs doing sports and health benefits and social benefits of doing sports, January 2018
            • Do people really love sports or just follow the fitness fever?
              • Figure 2: Attitudes towards benefits of sports, % any agree, by consumer group, January 2018
              • Figure 3: Preferences towards varied sports types, % any agree, by consumer group, January 2018
            • Looking good vs improving fitness, which claim lures people to spend?
              • Figure 4: Purchase changes of sports-related products and services compared to six months ago, January 2018
              • Figure 5: Purchase changes of paying to watch live sports, January 2018
            • How to generate more profits by tapping into the ‘right’ sports?
              • Figure 6: Sports that consumers spend time on following vs sports that consumers have played in the last six months, January 2018
              • Figure 7: Attitudes towards doing varied sports and playing e-sports, January 2018
            • What prevents people from doing sports (especially in gyms)?
              • Figure 8: Reasons for reducing frequency of doing sports in the last six months, January 2018
              • Figure 9: Changes of where to do sports, January 2018
              • Figure 10: Reasons for reducing frequency of doing sports in sports and exercising venues in the last six months, January 2018
            • Chinese vs foreign brands, which are people’s favourite?
              • Figure 11: Top 15 favourite brands of sports products, January 2018
            • What we think
            • Issues and Insights

              • Fitness should be an holistic, mindful experience
                • The facts
                  • The implications
                    • The rising popularity of smart fitness
                      • The facts
                        • The implications
                            • Figure 12: Examples of North-western University’s sweat patch and L’Oréal UV sensor
                        • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                          • Meaning of doing sports is beyond health
                            • Ball games and outdoor sports attract more people
                              • It has been a good year for the sportswear market
                              • Attitudes towards Sports and Exercise

                                • Involvement in fitness is relatively lower in China
                                  • Figure 13: Frequency of participation in sports and fitness activities in the last 6 months, by country, July 2017 in China, July 2016 in the US, July 2016 in the UK, January 2017 in Canada
                                • Eating right is more important than exercising
                                  • Figure 14: Attitudes towards role of healthy eating vs doing sports played in staying healthy, January 2018
                                • Health improvement is far more than doing sports
                                  • Figure 15: Attitudes towards health benefits of doing sports, January 2018
                                • Sports topics are a new social currency
                                  • Figure 16: Attitudes towards social benefits of doing sports, January 2018
                              • Consumer Segmentation

                                • Diversified motivators in life: food, fashion and function
                                    • Figure 17: Consumer groups segmented based on their attitudes, January 2018
                                  • Consumer profile of Sports Enthusiasts
                                    • Strongly hold belief in the great importance of doing physical sports
                                        • Figure 18: Attitudes towards benefits of sports, % any agree, by consumer group, January 2018
                                      • Focused and single-minded when watching sports events
                                        • Figure 19: Sports-related things done in the past 12 months, by consumer group, January 2018
                                        • Figure 20: Things done when watching a sports event, by consumer group, January 2018
                                      • Prefer playing sports that are popular, diversified and team-oriented
                                          • Figure 21: Attitudes towards preferences towards varied sports types, % any agree, by consumer group, January 2018
                                        • Tend to go out of home to do sports
                                          • Figure 22: Having done sports more often in different locations, by consumer group, January 2018
                                        • Have a practical mindset when purchasing sports-related products
                                          • Figure 23: Selective sports-related services that are being used now, by consumer group, January 2018
                                          • Figure 24: Having spent more money on sports apparel and shoes compared to 6 months ago, by consumer group, January 2018
                                          • Figure 25: Attitudes towards the importance of healthy eating vs doing sports, % any agree, by consumer group, January 2018
                                          • Figure 26: Having spent more on sports-related food and drinks compared to 6 months ago, by consumer group, January 2018
                                      • Most Popular Sports

                                        • Badminton and basketball make it a two-horse race
                                          • Figure 27: Sports consumers spend time on following, January 2018
                                          • Figure 28: Sports played in the last six months, January 2018
                                          • Figure 29: The proportion of sports lovers (ie who not only are interested in following news about the sport but also play the sport), January 2018
                                        • Marathon and cycling likely to continue to be popular sports
                                          • E-sports are not an enemy to a healthy lifestyle
                                            • Figure 30: Attitudes towards e-sports, January 2018
                                          • Relationship between different sports
                                            • Figure 31: Attitudes towards doing varied sports, January 2018
                                            • Figure 32: Sports played in the last six months, by sports played, January 2018
                                            • Figure 33: Strongly agree that ‘Doing different types of sports is better for health than sticking to one type’, by sport lover, January 2018
                                            • Figure 34: Strongly agree that ‘Sports topics are helpful in building friendship’, by sport lover, January 2018
                                          • Influencing factors of sports preferences
                                            • Figure 35: Sports played in the last six months, by gender, January 2018
                                            • Figure 36: Sports played in the last six months, by generation, January 2018
                                        • Barriers to Doing Sports

                                          • Is cold weather the fundamental barrier to doing sports?
                                            • Figure 37: Reasons for reducing frequency of doing sports in the last six months, January 2018
                                          • Why people lapse usage of sports/exercising venues?
                                            • Figure 38: Reasons for reducing frequency of doing sports in sports and exercising venues in the last six months, January 2018
                                            • Figure 39: Examples of workout pod
                                        • Where to Do Sports

                                          • Prefer outdoor or indoor?
                                            • Figure 40: Changes of where to do sports, January 2018
                                            • Figure 41: Having done more sports in different locations compared to 6 months ago, by gender, January 2018
                                          • The growing market of home gyms
                                            • Figure 42: Frequency of doing sports in different locations, December 2017
                                            • Figure 43: Examples of exercise desk
                                          • Lower motivation to use fitness centres frequently
                                            • Figure 44: Frequency of doing sports in different locations, December 2017
                                            • Figure 45: Frequency of doing sports in different locations among self-claimed professionals in sports and exercise (eg athlete, coach), December 2017
                                          • Sports location preferences across company type
                                            • Figure 46: Having done more sports compared to 6 months ago in different locations, by company type, January 2018
                                        • Purchase Trends

                                          • Most consumers spend the same on varied sports-related categories
                                            • Figure 47: Purchase changes of sports-related products and services compared to six months ago, January 2018
                                          • Optimisation opportunities for sports-related drinks
                                              • Figure 48: Attributes associated with different types of sports-related drinks brands, January 2017
                                              • Figure 49: Consumption of different sports-related foods, January 2018
                                            • Fitness classes and equipment preferences across age and gender
                                              • Figure 50: Having spent more money on home gym equipment vs fitness classes compared to 6 months ago, by age and gender, January 2018
                                              • Figure 51: Living status, by age, January 2018
                                            • Desire for paying for live sports
                                              • Figure 52: Purchase changes of watching live sports, January 2018
                                              • Figure 53: Having spent more on paid live sports competitions, by consumer group, January 2018
                                          • Favourite Sports Brands

                                            • The top three brands account for the lion’s share
                                              • Figure 54: Spontaneous answers to favourite brands of sports products, January 2018
                                            • Are Chinese brands doing well?
                                              • Figure 55: Top 15 favourite brands of sports products, January 2018
                                            • Consumer preferences of the top three
                                              • Figure 56: Spontaneous answers to favourite brands of sports products, by age, January 2018
                                              • Figure 57: Personal income, by age, January 2018
                                              • Figure 58: Spontaneous answers to favourite brands of sports products, by number of children, January 2018
                                              • Figure 59: Spontaneous answers to favourite brands of sports products, by city tier, January 2018
                                              • Figure 60: Spontaneous answers to favourite brands of sports products, by occupation, January 2018
                                              • Figure 61: Personal income, by occupation, January 2018
                                              • Figure 62: Lifestyle statement, by occupation, January 2018
                                          • Different Sports Lovers’ Preferences

                                            • Sports programmes watching behaviours
                                              • Figure 63: Sports programmes watching preferences, by ways of watching sports, January 2018
                                              • Figure 64: Having spent more on watching live sports compared to 6 months ago, by sport lover, January 2018
                                              • Figure 65: Sports popularity ranking, January 2018
                                            • Social media following behaviours
                                              • Figure 66: Sports following preferences, by sport lover, January 2018
                                            • Food and drinks purchase
                                              • Figure 67: Having spent more on sports-related food and drinks compared to 6 months ago, by sport lover, January 2018
                                            • Fitness classes and equipment purchase
                                              • Figure 68: Having spent more on fitness classes and equipment compared to 6 months ago, by sport lover, January 2018
                                            • Apparel and shoes purchase
                                              • Figure 69: Having spent more on apparel and shoes compared to 6 months ago, by sport lover, January 2018
                                          • Meet the Mintropolitans

                                            • More into sports participation due to passion not social pressure
                                              • Figure 70: Consumer segmentation based on their attitudes, by consumer classification, January 2018
                                              • Figure 71: Having done more sports in different locations compared to 6 months ago, by consumer classification, January 2018
                                              • Figure 72: Having spent more money on fitness classes and equipment compared to 6 months ago, by consumer classification, January 2018
                                            • Which sports-related categories will see better performance?
                                              • Figure 73: Having spent more money on sports-related clothing and food compared to 6 months ago, by consumer classification, January 2018
                                              • Figure 74: Sports played in the last six months, by consumer classification, January 2018
                                          • Appendix – Methodology and Abbreviations

                                            • Methodology
                                              • Abbreviations