The rise of the modern cyclist: who is still playing golf, anyway?

It’s a long held stereotype — the suit jacket comes off, and the golf clubs come out. But according to the latest information from Fitbit, it’s now cycling which is the sport of choice for the professional male.

According to The Economist, “golf’s appeal has become its undoing. Its meditative quality does not suit the frenetic pace of modern life.”

Fitbit don’t just use the data collected from fitness devices to give customised feedback to users, you can also access detailed information on what the latest sporting trends are, collated from approximately 100,000 Australian users. And one trend is abundantly clear — golf is slipping in popularity while cycling is rocketing up the charts.

The patterns are made even clearer when you divide the data by generations, and gender.


Running is (and due to it’s accessibility will likely always be) firmly in first position overall, with cycling coming in at a close second. Golf, on the other hand, sits at a lowly number 22.


Classic sports like squash and football are more popular with men than women. While golf creeps up to number 15 among the men, cycling gets an additional boost with not only traditional biking remaining at number two, but also indoor cycling sneaking into number five.


Activities like pilates and dancing are more popular with women than men. Golf doesn’t even make it into the top 30 amongst women, with cycling sitting firm at number two.


At an age where so many peers are participating in team sports, it’s no surprise that Millennials are quick to jump on board with group activities like rugby, netball and football. Cycling still takes silver place, though, while golf is pushed down to number 24.

Generation X

Solo activities like surfing, skiing and martial arts are more popular among GenXers, showing that this age group enjoys being pushed on an individual level. Golf sits at number 21 on this chart, with cycling at number two and indoor cycling taking out the fifth spot.

Baby boomers

As we age, more aggressive workouts like boxing and strength training lose steam in our routine, while easy, low-impact exercises like water aerobics, gardening become more popular. Golf is the most popular in this demographic, at number 12, but so is cycling, where it takes the top spot for popularity.

No matter where you live, cycling is an awesome way to see the sights and stay in shape. Plus, it offers many of the same health benefits as running, but with much lower impact on the body. Looking to get started with cycling? Fitbit recommends a trip to your local bike shop. “Bike experts can help you find the bike, equipment and fit that are best for you. Plus, they usually know where to find the best paths and trails in your area.”

And if you are looking to track your fitness, you can use Strava for the times when you’re pushing hard cycling, and Fitbit for all-day health and fitness tracking and stats. The two services have partnered recently, which means if you’re a Fitbit Surge user, heart rate and GPS-based exercise data, including routes, distance, elevation and pace, will sync to Strava.

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