The unfortunate cycle of the current trend is that, whenever COVID-19 situation gets slightly better, it worsens due to group infections. Due to the restriction of places people can go to, the sales of online service companies and those of the companies that sell indoor-enjoyable products have increased at significant rates. Prior to the emergence of COVID-19, many people used to go to crowded fitness centers to exercise. However, people now have to exercise at home or outdoors.
People who exercise regularly find ways to exercise even when the situations don’t allow them to. Hyo Kyung Ko(40), a worker at Bansuk Sports, used to go to the fitness center every single day before COVID-19, but she now rides a bike to work and to back home. Bless Shin(18), a student at Korea International School Jeju Campus, also used to lift weights everyday at the fitness center, but he now has purchased dumbbells to lift weights in his home.
According to Kwang Hyun Park, the CEO of Bansuk Sports, the sales of the second quarter this year was more than 30% higher than that of the fourth quarter last year. Another interesting point was that the sales of weight lifting products increased at a high rate while those of cardiovascular products, such as treadmills, decreased.
The reason behind this trend is that people now go for runs in their neighborhoods for cardiovascular exercises while they enjoy so-called “home training” for strength training. In fact, according to Naver keyword trends, the top 10 fitness product-related keywords are now composed of weight lifting equipment like “dumbbells” and “push-up bars”; however, before COVID-19, the top 10 keywords were mostly composed of cardiovascular and yoga-related products.
|[Naver’s Fitness Equipment Search Keyword Trends. Photo Credit: Shinyong Park]|
I interviewed Kwang Hyun Park, the CEO of Bansuk Sports, to learn about the current situation in the fitness equipment market. According to Park, the overall sales significantly increased, especially the sales of weight lifting equipment, such as the bench press. He explains that it’s because muscular exercises don’t require tracks and fields unlike cardiovascular exercises: they just need their home and equipment.
He added that the demand of cost-effective products increased as well. He explained that it’s because people buy products to temporarily use them. Also, as many people have gained weight due to self-isolation, they tend to start exercising with cheap equipment because their purpose for the purchase is to lose weight in a short time: they know that they won’t use the equipments after they lose weight.
|[Interview with Kwang Hyun Park, the CEO of Bansuk Sports. Photo Credit: So Jeong Shin]|
As it is difficult to predict how much longer the current situation will continue for, people are starting to change their exercising routines. Just like wearing a mask has become the “new normal,” new patterns of exercises like lifting weights at home and doing cardiovascular exercises outdoors might become “new normal” as well.
Korea International School, Jeju
Shinyong Park email@example.com
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