US & Britain: The link between gaming and exercise
June 28th, 2022, Rishad Dsouza

US & Britain: The link between gaming and exercise

Video games are sometimes given the bad rap of making players lazy and averse to exercise. But YouGov Profiles data shows that gamers in the US and Britain are, in fact, noticeably likelier than their non-gaming counterparts to exercise at least once a week.

Remarkably, gamers in both Britain and the US are 37% likelier than their non-gaming compatriots to say they exercise at least once a week. To be more specific, half of British gamers (48%) say they exercise anywhere between once a week to daily compared to just 35% of non-gamers. In the US, 56% of gamers say they workout that frequently as against just two-fifths of non-gamers (41%).

This difference in the tendency to exercise exists even when we control the dataset for age, indicating that the variance cannot merely be pinned to the fact that gamers are usually a younger cohort. Looking specifically at millennial and Gen Z gamers in Britain, they remain likelier than non-gamers from those generations to say they exercise regularly (55% vs 45%). A similar pattern is seen in the US, where nearly two-thirds of gamers from younger generations say they work out regularly (64%) compared to just 45% of non-gamers from the Gen Z and millennial brackets.

YouGov Profiles also allows for insights into how consumers get their exercise. About one in eight gamers has a gym membership (13%). About a tenth of them have a class subscription pass (11%) and a similar proportion is engaged with a sports club or league (10%). A smaller slice of British gamers (7%) say they have a paid subscription to an online or at home fitness plan.

While gamers naturally outscore their non-gaming counterparts on all types of memberships, the difference is much bigger on some types of memberships than others. The below chart is sorted on the basis of the Z-score, a mechanism which dynamically captures the variances among two groups of consumers.

In both the US (9% vs 2%) and in Britain (11% vs 1%), gamers are far likelier than their non-gaming compatriots to have a class subscription pass. This data can help marketers further tailor their offerings to the specific needs of each consumer group.

Like in Britain, traditional gym memberships are the most common subscription type among both consumer groups in the US. A fifth of American gamers say they have a gym membership (20% vs 13%). A tenth of US gamers also have online or at-home paid subscriptions (10%). Sports club membership (6%) and specialty studios (7%) also enjoy a significant membership among gamers.

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Methodology: YouGov Profiles is based on continuously collected data and rolling surveys, rather than from a single limited questionnaire. Profiles data is nationally representative and weighted by age, gender, education, region, and race. Learn more about Profiles.