Most gyms and sports clubs were forced to shut their doors earlier this year in the battle to contain the spread of Covid-19. But for many people, lockdown restrictions have only inspired a greater interest in working out – whether to get into shape, or simply to escape the mundanity of hours spent at home. Indeed, between March and the end of June, Public Health England’s ‘Couch to 5K’ running app registered nearly 1m downloads – a 92 per cent increase from the same period in 2019. It helps that jogging, walking and other categories of ‘solo’ exercise lend themselves to social distancing. This is not just a UK phenomenon, it’s a trend that has been experienced across the globe.
Rising demand for fitness technology
Robust track record
Strong balance sheet
Recent cyber attack
This intensifying focus on health and wellbeing has been excellent news for Garmin (US:GRMN), a Nasdaq-quoted designer, developer and distributor of fitness-tracking watches, cycling gadgets and other smart devices. First-half fitness sales were up by 20 per cent to $518m (£396m), or roughly a third of the group’s total top line.