Visualizing the Growth of Home Fitness Apps in 2020
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The Growth of Home Fitness Apps

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The growth in home fitness apps

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The Growth of Home Fitness Apps

Home fitness apps have been shaping our lives—and our glutes—long before COVID-19, but their popularity has truly surged in the last few months.

Which regions are driving this growth? And is home fitness here to stay, or will it fade away when the pandemic is over?

This graphic uses data from MoEngage and Apptopia to highlight the growth in home fitness apps across five different regions, representing 1.5 billion mobile app users. Note that the report uses data from Google’s Play Store and Apple’s App Store, so China was not included.

Growth, by Number of Downloads

Between Q1 and Q2 2020, health and fitness app downloads grew by 46% worldwide. Here’s a look at the regional breakdown:

RegionDownload Growth
India157%
MENA55%
Europe25%
Asia-Pacific47%
Rest of the World43%
Americas21%

India saw the highest increase in downloads, rising by 156%. That translates to 58 million new active users—almost the entire population of Italy.

This makes sense considering that India had the largest lockdown in the world—from March 25 to May 2020, 1.3 billion people were instructed to stay inside. That’s a lot of people who, quite suddenly, found themselves homebound.

The Middle East and North Africa (MENA) region saw the second highest growth in downloads, at a 55% increase, followed by Asia-Pacific with a 47% increase.

Growth, by Daily Active Users

Along with a surge in downloads, fitness apps also saw a rise in daily active users (DAUs). This is significant because it shows people weren’t just downloading these apps and forgetting about them—they were actually using them.

Globally, DAUs for fitness apps increased by 24% from Q1 to Q2. Here’s a look at the growth in each region:

RegionDAU Growth
India84%
MENA28%
Europe11%
Asia-Pacific24%
Rest of the World24%
Americas8%

As with downloads, India saw the largest increase in DAUs with an 84% increase, or 12 million new users. MENA saw the second-highest growth (which also aligns with downloads) at 28%.

In contrast, the Americas saw the smallest increase at just 8%—but this also may be a function of having more users to start with. Despite the lower growth rate than other regions, those who did adopt fitness apps in the Americas seemed to enjoy them, particularly in the United States.

According to a mid-year survey by OnePoll, 74% of Americans used at least one fitness app during quarantine, and 60% enjoyed their home workouts so much, they now plan on canceling their gym membership for good.

Top Grossing Health & Fitness Apps in Q2 2020

Which companies have been capitalizing on this trend? Here’s a look at the top-grossing health and fitness apps in Q2 2020, using data from Sensor Tower:

April was focused on mindfulness and meditation more than active workouts. Calm, an app for sleep, meditation, and relaxation, was the highest-grossing app at $8.5 million. Another popular mindfulness app came in second place—Headspace grossed $5.5 million. MyFitnessPal, used for tracking your diet and exercise, ranked third.

In May, meditation remained a primary focus. Calm grossed $7.7 million and kept its top spot as the highest-grossing health and fitness app, while MyFitnessPal ranked second with more than $6.5 million in gross revenue. Strava, an app with built-in GPS that tracks your workouts, came in at third place.

By June, people had shifted their focus to diet tracking and active workouts. MyFitnessPal took first place, grossing $6.7 million. Calm and Headspace came second and third, respectively.

Is Home Fitness Here to Stay?

During lockdown, gyms and fitness studios were left with no other choice than to increase their digital presence. Many started offering virtual classes, allowing members to access services from the comfort of their own homes.

Lockdown also inspired people to improve their home gyms and invest in home fitness equipment. Exercise equipment company Peloton has surged in popularity this year—it’s set to double its sales in 2020, with an estimated $1.8 billion in revenue by the end of the year.

With gyms online and fancy new equipment at home, will people maintain their lockdown workout routines even after the pandemic ends?

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Green

Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

This detailed map looks at where humans have (and haven’t) modified Earth’s terrestrial environment. See human impact in incredible detail.

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human impact on earths surface

Mapped: Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

With human population on Earth approaching 8 billion (we’ll likely hit that milestone in 2023), our impact on the planet is becoming harder to ignore with each passing year.

Our cities, infrastructure, agriculture, and pollution are all forms of stress we place on the natural world. This map, by David M. Theobald et al., shows just how much of the planet we’ve now modified. The researchers estimate that 14.6% or 18.5 million km² of land area has been modified – an area greater than Russia.

Defining Human Impact

Human impact on the Earth’s surface can take a number of different forms, and researchers took a nuanced approach to classifying the “modifications” we’ve made. In the end, 10 main stressors were used to create this map:

  1. Built-Up Areas: All of our cities and towns
  2. Agriculture: Areas devoted to crops and pastures
  3. Energy and extractive resources: Primarily locations where oil and gas are extracted
  4. Mines and quarries: Other ground-based natural resource extraction, excluding oil and gas
  5. Power plants: Areas where energy is produced – both renewable and non-renewable
  6. Transportation and service corridors: Primarily roads and railways
  7. Logging: This measures commodity-based forest loss (excludes factors like wildfire and urbanization)
  8. Human intrusion: Typically areas adjacent to population centers and roads that humans access
  9. Natural systems modification: Primarily modifications to water flow, including reservoir creation
  10. Pollution: Phenomenon such as acid rain and fog caused by air pollution

The classification descriptions above are simplified. See the methodology for full descriptions and calculations.

A Closer Look at Human Impact on the Earth’s Surface

To help better understand the level of impact humans can have on the planet, we’ll take a closer look three regions, and see how the situation on the ground relates to these maps.

Land Use Contrasts: Egypt

Almost all of Egypt’s population lives along the Nile and its delta, making it an interesting place to examine land use and human impact.

egypt land use impact zone

The towns and high intensity agricultural land following the river stand out clearly on the human modification map, while the nearby desert shows much less impact.

Intensive Modification: Netherlands

The Netherlands has some of the heavily modified landscapes on Earth, so the way it looks on this map will come as no surprise.

netherlands land use impact zone

The area shown above, Rotterdam’s distinctive port and surround area, renders almost entirely in colors at the top of the human modification scale.

Resource Extraction: West Virginia

It isn’t just cities and towns that show up clearly on this map, it’s also the areas we extract our raw materials from as well. This mountainous region of West Virginia, in the United States, offers a very clear visual example.

west virginia land use impact zone

The mountaintop removal method of mining—which involves blasting mountains in order to retrieve seams of bituminous coal—is common in this region, and mine sites show up clearly in the map.

You can explore the interactive version of this map yourself to view any area on the globe. What surprises you about these patterns of human impact?

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Politics

Interactive Map: Tracking Global Hunger and Food Insecurity

Every day, hunger affects more than 700 million people. This live map from the UN highlights where hunger is hitting hardest around the world.

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The World Hunger Map

Interactive Map: Tracking Global Hunger and Food Insecurity

Hunger is still one the biggest—and most solvable—problems in the world.

Every day, more than 700 million people (8.8% of the world’s population) go to bed on an empty stomach, according to the UN World Food Programme (WFP).

The WFP’s HungerMap LIVE displayed here tracks core indicators of acute hunger like household food consumption, livelihoods, child nutritional status, mortality, and access to clean water in order to rank countries.

The World Hunger Map

After sitting closer to 600 million from 2014 to 2019, the number of people in the world affected by hunger increased during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2020, 155 million people (2% of the world’s population) experienced acute hunger, requiring urgent assistance.

The Fight to Feed the World

The problem of global hunger isn’t new, and attempts to solve it have making headlines for decades.

On July 13, 1985, at Wembley Stadium in London, Prince Charles and Princess Diana officially opened Live Aid, a worldwide rock concert organized to raise money for the relief of famine-stricken Africans.

The event was followed by similar concerts at other arenas around the world, globally linked by satellite to more than a billion viewers in 110 nations, raising more than $125 million ($309 million in today’s dollars) in famine relief for Africa.

But 35+ years later, the continent still struggles. According to the UN, from 12 countries with the highest prevalence of insufficient food consumption in the world, nine are in Africa.

Country % Population Affected by HungerPopulation (millions)Region
Afghanistan 🇦🇫93%40.4Asia
Somalia 🇸🇴68%12.3Africa
Burkina Faso 🇧🇫61%19.8Africa
South Sudan 🇸🇸60%11.0Africa
Mali 🇲🇱60%19.1Africa
Sierra Leone 🇸🇱55%8.2Africa
Syria 🇸🇾55%18.0Middle East
Niger 🇳🇪55%22.4Africa
Lesotho 🇱🇸50%2.1Africa
Guinea 🇬🇳48%12.2Africa
Benin 🇧🇯47%11.5Africa
Yemen 🇾🇪44%30.0Middle East

Approximately 30 million people in Africa face the effects of severe food insecurity, including malnutrition, starvation, and poverty.

Wasted Leftovers

Although many of the reasons for the food crisis around the globe involve conflicts or environmental challenges, one of the big contributors is food waste.

According to the United Nations, one-third of food produced for human consumption is lost or wasted globally. This amounts to about 1.3 billion tons of wasted food per year, worth approximately $1 trillion.

All the food produced but never eaten would be sufficient to feed two billion people. That’s more than twice the number of undernourished people across the globe. Consumers in rich countries waste almost as much food as the entire net food production of sub-Saharan Africa each year.

Solving Global Hunger

While many people may not be “hungry” in the sense that they are suffering physical discomfort, they may still be food insecure, lacking regular access to enough safe and nutritious food for normal growth and development.

Estimates of how much money it would take to end world hunger range from $7 billion to $265 billion per year.

But to tackle the problem, investments must be utilized in the right places. Specialists say that governments and organizations need to provide food and humanitarian relief to the most at-risk regions, increase agricultural productivity, and invest in more efficient supply chains.

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