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MINDBODY’s inaugural Australia Wellness Index shows changing exercise behaviours of Australians

MINDBODY’s inaugural Australia Wellness Index shows changing exercise behaviours of Australians
December 4, 2019

Leading industry technology platform MINDBODY has released its first Wellness Index for Australia, showing that 'experiential wellness' activities are capturing consumer's attention with interest in floating spas, wellness pop-ups and nap bars on the rise.

Following on from its past USA-based reports, the first-of-its-kind research study in Australia assesses the nation’s fitness, health and beauty behaviours, as well as revealing fitness and wellness trends and predictions for 2020.

The MINDBODY Wellness Index reveals Australian's changing behaviours when it comes to all things fitness and wellness, by analysing a range of factors including overall health, preferences, and attitudes. Based on a survey of 1,523 people across Australia, it uncovers the Australia’s most popular and emerging forms of exercises, while also predicting next year’s wellness trends.

Hema Prakash, APAC General Manager at MINDBODY, explained "the wellness service market in Australia reached $10.6 billion in 2019 and has no signs of it slowing down in 2020. This report shows just how important fitness and wellness is to Australians and their expectations and interests are continuing to evolve. As we enter into another incredibly exciting year, our goal is to continue helping communities live healthier, happier lives by offering and connecting them through the MINDBODY app to the wellness services that matter most.”

Experiential wellness on the rise
Experiential wellness will continue to drive forward in 2020 as a significant majority (88%) of Australias show interest in trialling new fitness and wellness activities. Float spas (46%), wellness pop-up events (45%), meditation studios (42%), nap bars (41%) and express facial bars (40%) are the top five wellness activities Australians are keen to trial next year.

Integrative health services will also continue to grow, with acupuncture (27%), hydrotherapy (24%) and floatation therapy (21%) sparking the most interest.

The figures also showed that millennials led the charge in alternative wellness workshops, with 19% attending a nutrition session, 16% attending a yoga-related class, 13% attending a self-care workshop, 10% attending a breathing workshop and 8% attending a sound healing session.

NSW and Victoria the most active states
When it comes to prioritising fitness, Australia stacks up well with two in three (67%) engaging in moderate or high intensity exercise at least once a week. Almost a million Australians (approximately 940,000 people) are doing moderate to high intensity exercise every day of the week. 

By contrast, 10% of the population don’t exercise.

In terms of activity, NSW and Victoria are the most active states, with seven in 10 residents claiming to engage in moderate or high intensity exercise at least once a week, across both states. Queensland is the most sedentary state with 60% saying that they work out at least once a week.

Cardio-based exercise still the most popular
Following a year which saw the acceleration of bootcamp-style and functional fitness, cardio based exercise still leads the way with 45% of gym-goers engaging in HIIT, circuit, boxing, cycle and spin classes weekly. This is followed by strength based (30%) and water based (16%) exercises.

In line with scientific backing, lunchtime workouts and morning gym sessions are proving effective in helping workers to achieve optimal productivity, as almost two thirds (63%) claim they feel more productive after attending a fitness session before or during their work day. Despite this, only four in 10 (42%) are currently managing to get out of the office to squeeze a 'power hour' in.

Regular fitness provides a better way of life, but financial issues present obstacles
Across the board the survey finds, there’s a distinct correlation between frequency of exercise and improved happiness and health levels within Australians. Those who exercise five times a week report a much better way of life, compared to those who exercise once or less a week, noting improved happiness levels, quality sleep and healthier eating habits.

The report uncovers a range of factors that motivate Australians to exercise, with weight control (36%), improved mental wellbeing (34%) and the desire to feel strong and fit (32%) coming up top. Satisfaction levels vary between the genders however, as almost half of males (44%) are satisfied with their overall fitness level compared to just three in 10 females (29%).

Despite the evidence promoting a strong fitness and wellness routine, a number of Australians claim to face financial and physical limitations that hold them back from leading a healthier lifestyle:

• Money constraints (36%)
• Physical limitations (21%)
• Not comfortable with changing eating habits (19%)

Images: Floatation chamber at the Melbourne Float House (top), Somadome meditation pod from Wellness Solutions (middle) and Kettlebells in use during a group training session (below).

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2nd May 2019 - Mindbody advises on ways to make fitness centres more eco-friendly 

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14th March 2018 - Tony de Leede launches Club W concept, a new ‘third space’ for women’s wellness

12th March 2018 - Australian fitness industry revenues to grow to $2.4 billion by 2022/23

12th December 2016 - Hepburn Wellness to create pop-up day spa at Lorne Sea Baths

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