NSGA Participation Study -- Fitness Activities, Most Team Sports Grow

Exercise walking, which experienced 1.5% growth in 2005, remains the No. 1 participation activity surveyed by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), a position it has held since 1990.
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MOUNT PROSPECT, IL – Exercise walking, which experienced 1.5% growth in 2005, remains the No. 1 participation activity surveyed by the National Sporting Goods Association (NSGA), a position it has held since 1990. Data contained in NSGA's annual “Sports Participation – Series I and II” reports, which are now available, shows 86.0 million Americans walked for exercise in 2005.

Swimming, with 58.0 million participants, an increase of 8.5%, regained the No. 2 spot that it had lost in 2002. Camping, which had replaced swimming in the runner-up spot, dropped to fourth (46.0 million participants, down 16.8%) behind exercising with equipment (54.2 million, up 4.0%). Bowling rounded out the top five with 45.4 million (+3.5%).

Classic fitness activities included in the survey showed healthy growth in 2005. The fastest growing fitness activity was weightlifting, which increased 35.4% to 35.5 million participants and a spot in the top 10 for the first time at No. 9. Working out at a club ranks 10th with 34.7 million (+9.2%), aerobic exercising, 11th with 33.7 million (+14.4%), and running/jogging 14th with 29.2 million (+9.5%).

“On top of 2004's increases in fitness participation, we're seeing a trend that Americans are taking their health and fitness much more seriously,” NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle said. “Five of the top 14 activities in our survey are fitness related, and it shouldn't be too many years before exercise walking becomes the nation's first 100-million-participant activity.”

Team sports duplicated their 2004 performance in 2005, with six of seven sports showing increases. Tackle football, which had slipped by 5.3% in 2004, bounced back with a 15.5% increase in 2005 to 9.9 million participants. Other double-digit increases came in softball (+12.7% to 14.1 million) and volleyball (+11.9% to 13.2 million). Basketball was the highest-ranking team sport at No. 12 with 29.9 million participants (+7.3%). Soccer (14.1 million) increased 6.4%. Ice hockey showed a 0.4% increase to 2.4 million.

The only team sport to show a decline was baseball, down 7.7% to 14.6 million. Cheerleading, an activity related to many of these team sports and a relatively new competitive sport in many states, dropped 13.2% to 3.3 million.

For this survey, a participant is someone age seven or older who takes part in the sport or activity more than once in a calendar year. “Sports Participation in 2005 – Series I and II” cover 41 sports, recreation and fitness activities.

These reports have been published by NSGA for more than 25 years. They provide data on total 2005 participation, frequency of participation, and average number of participation days. Single-time participation, which is not counted in the total, is included separately.

Demographic data on participants includes gender, age, mean age by gender, gender by age, household income, and education of male and female head of household. Geographic analysis includes nine census regions and metro area size. Presence of children is also noted, and Internet usage is reported by gender and age of participants.
In addition to Series I and II, state-by-state data is available in “Sports Participation in 2005: State-By-State.” This report covers 33 sports and activities, and provides data on total participation, frequency of participation and total participation days.

2005 SPORTS PARTICIPATION
Ranked by Total Participation
Participated more than once (in millions)
Seven (7) years of age and older

Percent
Sport Total Change

1 Exercise Walking 86.0 1.5%
2 Swimming 58.0 8.5%
3 Exercising with Equipment 54.2 4.0%
4 Camping (vacation/overnite) 46.0 -16.8%
5 Bowling 45.4 3.5%
6 Fishing 43.3 5.2%
7 Bicycle Riding 43.1 7.0%
8 Billiards/Pool 37.3 8.9%
9 Weightlifting 35.5 35.4%
10 Workout at Club 34.7 9.2%
11 Aerobic Exercising 33.7 14.4%
12 Basketball 29.9 7.3%
13 Hiking 29.8 5.0%
14 Running/Jogging 29.2 9.5%
15 oating, Motor/Power 27.5 20.9%
16 Golf 24.7 0.8%
17 Target Shooting 21.9 14.2%
18 Hunting with Firearms 19.4 9.7%
19 Baseball 14.6 -7.7%
20 Soccer 14.1 6.4%
21 Softball 14.1 12.7%
22 Backpack/Wilderness Camp 13.3 -13.4%
23 Volleyball 13.2 11.9%
24 In-Line Roller Skating 13.1 12.3%
25 Skateboarding 12.0 16.5%
26 Tennis 11.1 15.6%
27 Scooter Riding 10.4 -19.4%
28 Football (tackle) 9.9 15.5%
29 Mountain Biking (off road) 9.2 14.9%
30 Paintball Games 8.0 -15.1%
31 Kayaking/Rafting 7.6 na
32 Skiing (alpine) 6.9 9.5%
33 Archery (target) 6.8 28.5%
34 Water Skiing 6.7 26.9%
35 Target Shooting - Airgun 6.7 30.6%
36 Hunting w/Bow & Arrow 6.6 13.8%
37 Snowboarding 6.0 -8.9%
38 Muzzleloading 4.1 7.6%
39 Cheerleading 3.3 -13.2%
40 Hockey (ice) 2.4 0.4%
41 Skiing (cross country) 1.9 -20.4%

Percent Change is from 2004
na = Not Surveyed in 2004

SOURCE: National Sporting Goods Association, Mt. Prospect IL 60056 847.296.NSGA FAX: 847.391.9827
info@nsga.org

For more information on pricing for these and other NSGA research reports, please contact the NSGA Research Department, (847) 296-6742, ext. 108, or e-mail: info@nsga.org. Information is also available on the NSGA web site, www.nsga.org.
Founded in 1929, NSGA's mission is to help all members profit in a competitive marketplace. The Association organizes and hosts the annual NSGA Management Conference & Team Dealer Summit, the sporting goods industry's premier educational and networking event (Next: May 21-24, 2006, at the Westin LaCantera Resort in San Antonio, Texas).
For more information on NSGA member services, visit the Association home page (www.nsga.org); call Rhonda Onuszko at NSGA, (847) 296-6742, Ext. 130; e-mail: ronuszko@nsga.org; or fax (847) 391-9827.

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