Apple study shows Utah really loves pickleball
Oct 18, 2023, 5:00 PM
(Mengshin Lin/Deseret News)
SALT LAKE CITY — Utah loves its pickleball and new data from Apple backs that up.
The Apple Heart and Movement study surveyed over 200,000 Apple Watch users. It found that per capita, Utah leads the nation in people playing the sport. Both Arizona and California follow closely behind.
Lead researcher and Harvard professor Calum MacRae said one out of every 16 Utahns, or about 6% of Utahns in the study, play pickleball.
“It’s been seen that, on average, folks in Utah actually tend to spend more time outdoors,” MacRae said.
He also said that Utahns tend to take part in more general physical activity than many other states.
“But, in specific terms, it’s not obvious why there’s any discrete advantage for pickleball,” he said.
Though he’s not sure, MacRae thinks the sport may be so popular in The Beehive State due to its social and physical health benefits.
Not only is it popular in Utah, but pickleball has surpassed tennis for the first time in popularity. Apple has now added the sport as an option in its Workout app.
Researchers found the typically pickleball session ran 91 minutes to compared to 80 minutes in tennis, though peak heart rates were somewhat higher for the tennis players.
According to the study, tennis workout trends fluctuate seasonally, while pickleball workouts saw relatively steady growth.
The Apple study also showed that, on average, players who logged at least 10 pickleball workouts were older compared to the tennis players, 51 years old versus 45 years old respectively. Pickleball players also had higher participation among women compared to tennis players.
Devin Oldroyd contributed to this story.
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