(02-Dec) -- Runners in the United States have increased their embrace of technological devices and platforms during the COVID-19 pandemic according to a survey commissioned by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), a leading global IT services, consulting and business solutions company which is the title partner of important road races like the TCS New York City Marathon. "This Run Tech Survey" queried more than 1200 runners nationwide to find out how their use of running-specific technologies had changed during the pandemic.
IMAGE: This Run Tech Survey graphic
The upshot: Fifty percent of men and 42% of women who are using running technology during their daily runs adopted those technologies during the pandemic. About one third (34%) of all runners are using technology more during their daily runs, and adoption rates for smart watches, augmented reality devices, smart footwear or socks, and hydration and nutrition apps jumped an average of 50%.
Social media also played a role. Forty-nine percent of men and 30% of women surveyed started using social media connected to running during the pandemic.
"Continuous advancements in science and technology touch virtually every aspect of our lives, especially sports," observed Frank Diana, futurist and managing partner at TCS, through a statement. "As the survey data reveal, the pandemic is not just accelerating the adoption of technologies that improve performance and the overall running experience. We're seeing it shift the focus to broader wellness ecosystems that have the potential to improve the health of society."
Interestingly, trends in tech adoption were similar across the entire country. There was only a four percentage point difference between technology adoption rates between the northeast, west, Midwest and south regions.
Not surprisingly, younger runners are more likely to try new running tech. Fifty-nine percent of Millennials and 51% of Gen X-ers are willing to try cutting-edge running technologies, the survey reported.
Research company MarketCast conducted the survey of 1,241 USA runners. Eighty percent of those surveyed considered themselves "casual runners" (run at least once a week and 5+ miles per week), while 20% were "avid runners" (run 2+ times per week; 21+ miles per week). Fifty-two percent of the respondents were female and 48% male, and they ranged in age from 18 to 74.
More survey findings are available at SurveyThisRun.com.