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Fitbit data shows huge drop in activity worldwide (but you can still keep moving)

Fitness tracker
(Image credit: Shutterstock)

Fitbit has shared a map showing how activity levels have dropped during the coronavirus pandemic, as people stay at home to avoid spreading the disease. The map shows a decline in step counts during the week ending March 22.

Fitbit has 30 million users worldwide, and the extent of the change varies between countries. Those where cases of Covid-19 are rising steeply, such as Spain, show the steepest drops.

"In the United States, most major metropolitan areas saw a deeper decline in step counts than the country’s overall average decline of 12% in the week ending March 22, 2020.," Fitbit's data scientists explained.

"For the United States metropolitan areas included in the analysis below, the trend of step count declines continued in the week ending March 22, 2020."

Fitbit activity map

(Image credit: Fitbit)

Meanwhile, step counts are starting to rise again in China, where life is gradually starting to return to normal.

Ways to stay active

The rules on outdoor exercise vary hugely between countries; some are carrying on largely as normal, while some are limiting citizens to one form of outdoor exercise a day and others are under total lockdown.

Being stuck indoors doesn't mean your fitness has to suffer, though. If you own (or are able to rent) a treadmill or exercise bike, devices from Zwift can simulate the feeling of hitting the open road alone, or in a group. Meanwhile, Peloton offers live spin sessions, hosted by professional instructors from studios and streamed to your home.

There are also lots of workouts you can try indoors without any fitness equipment at all, including live sessions like PE with Joe Wicks. For home exercise ideas on demand, we've put together a list of the best home workout apps.