Laura Campbell
5 Min Read
  • More than a third (34%) of Brits say they would be happy to purchase second-hand sporting and fitness equipment
  • Running clothing, running trainers and bikes are the most popular sporting and fitness equipment bought second-hand during the pandemic 
  • Almost a fifth of Brits buy second-hand items as opposed to new products for environmental reasons

THE PANDEMIC saw a sharp rise in Brits turning to sports and exercise with many investing in new fitness equipment, and bikes. Now, a new study reveals that second hand does not mean second best, with many turning to ‘new-to-me’ purchases to give sport and fitness equipment a new lease of life.

According to a survey of 15,946 UK adults carried out by Decathlon as part of the Decathlon Activity Index, over a third (34%) say they would be happy to purchase second-hand sporting and fitness equipment, with nearly 1 in 10 (9%) having bought pre-loved equipment since the start of the pandemic.

Some of the most popular hand-me-down purchases which Brits would be happy to purchase or are planning to buy, includes bikes (27%), dumbbells (23%) and treadmills (21%), which all appeared top of the list.

In addition, the most popular sporting and fitness equipment bought second-hand during the pandemic includes running clothing (11%), running trainers (11%) and bikes (10%).

Looking at the social views around buying and selling pre-loved fitness equipment and clothing, 1 in 4 say they prefer to sell or give equipment away to others, rather than throwing it away, while 22% say it makes them feel good knowing other people can make use out of the equipment they no longer need or use.

More than 1 in 5 say purchasing second hand equipment makes them feel happy for the financial benefits it gives, while nearly a fifth (19%) of Brits say it makes them happy for the environmental reasons.

Looking at the benefits of buying and selling second-hand, Brits are led by emotion with nearly a third (30%) reporting they feel happy giving things away to other people who would benefit from it use, with more than a quarter (26%) saying they don’t like seeing items go to waste.

More than 1 in 5 (22%) say they are thankful if someone is happy to give them something which is second-hand and they can use, while 19% say it saves them money buying good quality pre-loved sporting equipment.

17% of Brits simply like to use second-hand equipment and clothing to give it a new lease of life.

With many having bought brand new sporting and fitness equipment during lockdowns in the UK recently, nearly 1 in 10 (9%) have already sold, or intend to sell, their equipment to others which they bought during lockdown continuing the popularity of the preloved consumer trend when it comes to sporting gear.

Nick Connell, Second Life Leader at Decathlon commented: “It’s brilliant to see so many people purchasing sports equipment on their journey to live a healthier and happier life. This might mean that you now have a collection of equipment which you no longer use, so selling these products is a great way to give others the chance to get active and benefit from something which otherwise may end up being unused and unloved.

“At Decathlon, we think it’s really important for products to be enjoyed as long as possible, and this fits perfectly with our new sustainability initiative, Second Life. We recycle, repair and reuse sports equipment so products really do have a second life – selling second-hand means we can stop products from going to waste and give as many people as possible the chance to enjoy the benefits which sport and exercise offers.”

The Decathlon Activity Index tracks rates of participation in sport and other physical activities across the year through a national survey repeated every month throughout the year. To view the Decathlon Activity Index,

Decathlon has 45 stores in the UK and sells a variety of sports equipment, clothing and accessories perfect for those who want to get active, try out new sports or forms of exercise or simply lead a healthy lifestyle.

For more information, visit

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