Thought Leadership

Understanding changing consumer behaviour in Health, Fitness & Wellbeing

Aaron Wells, Marketing Director at Big Cat introduces a white paper exploring shifting consumer behaviour and offering brands new ways to navigate the changing landscape.

Aaron Wells, Big Cat

Marketing Director


There have been some significant changes across all sectors, but none more so than Health, Wellbeing & Fitness. Whilst physical gym brands have experienced considerable revenue loss and reduced capacity, other areas of the sector have seen unprecedented levels of demand. The one thing that’s common is the rapid rate in which consumers are changing their behaviour.

This white paper helps to understand these behaviours and offers Health, Wellbeing & Fitness brands new ways to navigate the changing landscape.

The research

Our white paper has a combination of primary and secondary research to provide an insight into changing consumer behaviour.

Having analysed the responses of 143 participants, we carried out five in-depth interviews, then we used secondary research to help support our primary findings. We interviewed a number of well-known industry players about how they have adapted their businesses through the pandemic.

Our research revealed that exercise is still an important part of people’s lives. However, the way in which they now exercise has changed because of lockdown.

People’s motivation for returning to the gym after lockdown was more focused on helping them restore their physical health. Despite being aware of the impact of exercise on their mental health during lockdown, few participants were motivated by their need to improve their mental health to return to the gym, although we suspect that this may be a selling point for brands. Participants’ knowledge about the benefits of exercise for mental health seems “insufficient.”

“A total of 54% of UK internet users reported that their mental health had worsened during the coronavirus crisis.”

Lockdown has had a considerable impact on people’s lifestyles with regards to their eating and sleeping habits. While the impact has been a mixed experience for participants in our survey, it has encouraged some people to improve their diet and spend more time cooking healthy homemade meals. For others, the lockdown restrictions have blurred and broken down the boundaries of the working-living day, resulting in increased snacking and drinking, an increase in anxiety, and a poorer quality of sleep than before lockdown.


Marc Diaper, CEO, Gymbox

Kevin Yates, CEO, TRIB3

Lex Lambrou, Head of Marketing, Grays International

Steve Orton, Director, Body Power

Visit Big Cat's profile to download and read the full report.

Guest Author

Aaron Wells, Big Cat

Marketing Director,


In his role, Aaron helps brands understand their customers better than their competitors by drawing upon his understanding of human behaviour. The practical application of human biases plus creativity has proven to be the perfect combination for marketing effectiveness, something Aaron has a passion for and is qualified in through the IPA Eff Test. With over 13 years of experience, Aaron has worked across B2C and B2B health, leisure, retail, public sector, travel, automotive, hospitality, entertainment and F&B sectors. His career spans across multiple organisations including WAA Chosen, GDA, Volkswagen and Big Cat, working with brands such as DIEAGEO, Britvic, Mitchells & Butlers, Spirit Health Clubs, West Midlands Combined Authority, Absolutely Leisure, Parkdean Resorts, Roadchef, Calor and Royce Lingerie.

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Health Wellbeing