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2021 Year In Review: Insights From a Year of WHOOP Data

December 20, 2021

We highlight the 2021 Year in Review videos created for our members, and break down what we learned from analyzing the collective data of our WHOOP community.

By Mark Van Deusen

whoop 2021 YIR logo

With the new year right around the corner, it’s time to celebrate what we’ve accomplished in 2021. Take a look back at a year’s worth of milestones across strain, sleep, and recovery with our 2021 Year in Review.

 

Your 2021 Year in Review

Each and every workout you logged, recovery you earned, and minute you slept, are all right here. Your 2021 Year in Review is a shareable video that offers unique insights and trends from your data over the past 12 months–a highlight reel of your year on WHOOP.

whoop 2021 year in review

Your personalized Year in review video features highlights and accomplishments From your 2021 WHOOP data.

What were your most popular activities? What percentage of time did you spend in each stage of sleep? How often were you in the green? Which behaviors had the greatest positive effect on your recovery? You’ll find the answers to these questions and much more in your personalized Year in Review video.

 

WHOOP Community Year in Review

Our Community Year in Review used anonymized, aggregate data from our global membership base to unlock the most notable trends and behaviors in 2021. Below we’ll dive into some of the key takeaways and discoveries.

READ MORE: 2021 Year in Review Community Report

 

Recovery Highs and Lows

To no surprise, the lowest average recovery for WHOOP members in 2021 was on New Year’s Day, at 48%. The second lowest recovery on average was 53% on Saturday May 15–following an announcement from the CDC that enabled fully vaccinated people to go without masks indoors and give up social distancing. It’s worth noting that shortly after that time, average recovery then increased by about 3-4 percentage points for the rest of the year.

The highest average recovery in 2021 was 67% on Tuesday, July 20. We’ve found in the past that recovery (and heart rate variability) often tends to rise as spring turns to summer and people get outside and become more active. Tuesdays were also the highest recovery day of the week in 2021:

day of week whoop recovery

In 2021, WHOOP members had the highest daily average recoveries on Tuesdays.

When it came to behaviors that affect recovery, hydration (+3%) and alcohol consumption (-9%) were some of the most impactful.

 

New Activities & Fun Summer

We found that 37% of our members logged a new activity in 2021 that they hadn’t tried in 2020. Outdoor forms of exercise including hiking/rucking and swimming were some of the most popular new things people did, with functional fitness being the top activity overall.

The average member recorded about 270 activities (roughly 5 per week) over the course of the year for a total of 286 hours (around 47 minutes per day).

During the summer months, our US-based members reported having more sex, working late less often, and experiencing stress less frequently. This falls in line with the notion of a “summer of fun” through a period of better weather and decreased COVID restrictions.

working late less in summer

Reports of working late declined during the summer of 2021.

Improving Sleep

Our members achieved their highest sleep performances of 2021 in January with an average of 84%, and posted the lowest in June at 78%. Overall, they tended to get more sleep in the winter months as opposed to summer.

The best night of the week for sleep on average was Saturday into Sunday, hitting 82% of sleep need on average.

After examining the various behaviors WHOOP members log in relation to sleep, we determined which ones had the most significant positive and negative effects on sleep efficiency in 2021:

behaviors that impact sleep efficiency

We tracked which behaviors had the greatest impact on sleep efficiency in 2021, both positive and negative.

To learn more, visit yearinreview.whoop.com, read the full analysis in our Community Report, and check out our Year in Review Podcast.

 

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Mark Van Deusen

Mark Van Deusen is the Content Manager at WHOOP. Before joining WHOOP, Mark served as the Managing Editor and Head Writer for CelticsLife.com. He was also a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor at Yahoo Sports. A former tennis coach, Mark graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Sociology and Leadership Studies.

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