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  • MAP Asia Pacific Ltd

Survey on fitness beliefs and exercise habits in China

The scale of the Chinese sports and fitness industry is exploding. According to data compiled by the Chinese General Administration of Sports, from 2016 to 2025, the number of athletically engaged people in China will grow by 39%, from 360 million to 500 million. Not only will there be more athletes and fitness fans, but the expenditure per capita is also set to increase. Because of the expected development of exercise habits in China, we investigated what specific sports and fitness perceptions and habits Chinese people embrace.

The survey answers two main questions: one, what is the perception of fitness and the importance of exercise in their lives; two, what forms of exercise do Chinese prefer. The data collected stems from 1,354 respondents, 85.8% of them between 18 and 24, and 88.5% of them being women. Therefore, this survey is not necessarily representative of the Chinese population as a whole, it gives a sense of exercise habits of young Chinese adults, especially women, which is often the target market of fitness brands.

Through this survey, we found that the respondents view exercise as important, but there is room for their habits to further develop, in terms of length of time exercising and engagement. Our Chinese respondents prefer to exercise alone and often outdoors. Also, they prefer convenient and low-cost activities like running and walking outside. Despite having a huge fitness market, expenditure per capita in the Chinese fitness market is still low. So it is not surprising that compared with western countries, both gym memberships and advanced fitness nutritional supplements like protein powder and creatine powder are consumed less in China. For fitness-related food to enter the country, marketing and price compression are important.



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