SALT LAKE CITY (ABC4) — Utah is the place. At least, for pickleball, according to new data found in a Heart and Movement study by Apple.
Pickleball is the latest sports craze in the United States, being dubbed as the fastest-growing sport in the nation. The game is basically tennis but on a smaller court and, according to Forbes Health, has had many health benefits such as improved cognitive performance and lower levels of depression.
Utahns have definitely taken to the sport with pickleball courts appearing throughout the Beehive State. Now, Apple has dubbed Utah as a pickleball hub. According to Apple’s Heart and Movement Study, Utah stood out as having the most recorded pickleball workouts per capita using the Apple Watch.
“That doesn’t surprise me. There are a lot of pickleball players out there,” said Utah Gov. Spencer Cox. “As a former tennis player who has recently tried pickleball – I have to say – I absolutely love both sports. It’s a good reminder that exercise of any type is good for our hearts and good for our minds, and we understand that as one of the healthiest states in the nation.”
Apple found its data by analyzing more than 250,000 pickleball and tennis workouts recorded on the Apple Watch. Apple said one in every 16 study participants in Utah gave the sport a try at least once. According to the data, Utah is among the top states with dedicated pickleball courts, along with Arizona and California.
Researchers found that pickleball workouts were slightly longer than a tennis workout on average at 90 minutes played versus 81 minutes, respectively. Apple also said pickleball had a greater variability in time played.
Data showed pickleball offers something for everyone. The age range for pickleball players was largely younger, however, Apple reported many older players recorded workouts as well. Compare pickleball to tennis and you’ll find a sharp decline in activity as age increases. Apple’s data also backed the findings from Forbes Health, showing playing pickleball has a positive influence on mental health.
“Pickleball’s popularity continues to grow as more people recognize its approachability, health benefits and social advantages,” Apple researchers said. Researchers called both sports a fun and engaging way to stay physically active that is easily approachable to all ages and fitness levels.
“So, to all my fellow ‘picklers’ out there,” added Cox. “Let’s get out and play.”