Anyone who believes that younger people are "lazier" and less performance-oriented than older people could feel confirmed by this study: According to an analysis by the sports app Strava, 13 to 26 year olds jog and cycle faster than all other age groups - but they do so significantly shorter distances. This was the result of the evaluation of user data from the app, which, according to the company, is installed on more than 120 million smartphones worldwide.
On Strava, athletes can upload performances such as distance, speed and energy consumption and compare them with the data of other users. Professionals such as racing bike stars Mathieu van der Poel and Wout van Aert also regularly share information about their training sessions there. For its study, the San Francisco-based company evaluated the data sets of almost 7,000 cyclists and joggers who met between October 2022 and 2023.
The so-called boomers, i.e. the age group of 58 to 76 year olds, proved to be particularly persistent. On average, they cycled more than 32 kilometers per trip, followed by those aged 42 to 57, who cycled an average of around 27.3 kilometers. Last place in this category is occupied by the “Millennials” group, which Strava defines as 27 to 41 year olds, with almost 21 kilometers per trip. With only around 300 meters more per journey, the “GenZ” hardly sets itself apart from its predecessors. The youngest users of the app, on the other hand, were apparently in a particularly hurry.
The 13 to 26 year olds covered their distances at an average speed of 20.7 km/h - the top value in this category, but not much faster than the 42 to 57 year olds, who averaged just under 20.6 km/h were traveling. “Millennials” (27 to 41 years old) and “Boomers” (58 to 76 years old) drove a little more comfortably, averaging just under 20.3 km/h. The Strava study shows a very similar picture when jogging: the youngest people prefer it short and fast.
The 13 to 26 year olds jogged an average of 5.31 kilometers and needed around 5:37 minutes for each kilometer - no other age group ran faster. In contrast, the 42 to 57 year olds covered the longest distances with an average of 6.27 kilometers, but also took 6:08 minutes per kilometer to do so. The “Boomers” ran the most comfortably at 6:45 minutes per kilometer with an average distance of 6.4 kilometers. The 27 to 41 year old “Millennials” are in the middle of the field with an average distance of 6.9 kilometers, taking around 6:54 minutes for each kilometer.
The study also looks at the different motivations of age groups for doing sport. In a survey, more than half of all Strava users said that it motivated them to compare their results with friends and relatives via the app. The social aspect of sport is most important for the youngest age group: According to Strava, “Gen Z” clearly prefers to do sport with another person than members of the other age groups. For those aged 27 to 57, on the other hand, the main focus is on health, which in turn seemed significantly less important to the younger people.
Sources: Strava press release / Strava Global Report