TAIPEI - If the performance of the sports shoe industry is any indication, Taiwan's efforts to promote healthy living through regular exercise appears to be bearing fruit.
Demand for sports shoes last year registered a 25 and 16 per cent jump in value and volume respectively, bringing the total sales of sports shoes in Taiwan to exceed 8.5 million pairs, and market value to reach US$488 million (S$605 million) in 2011.
According to Global market research company GfK in its the latest results of its sports shoes retail audit, the growth of the sports shoe market provides "a clear sign that the Taiwanese government's intensive sports campaign over the recent years has been successful in reaching out to the people."
"Indulging in sports and other forms of exercises appear to be on the rise and have somewhat evolved into a social phenomenon in Taiwan, boosting the sales of sports shoes," commented Ms Lydia Huang, General Manager of GfK Taiwan.
Males are apparently the bigger sports enthusiasts compared to females as they form the larger bulk of sports shoe buyers in Taiwan.
About three quarter of the overall market revenue was contributed by the sale of male sports shoes.
In a related survey on the exercising habits of Taiwanese, it was revealed that 70 per cent of Taiwanese do some form of sport every month.
This was higher among the male population, with 76 per cent of them saying they have exercised in the past month, as compared to only 64 per cent of females saying that they do any form of exercise on a monthly basis.
Aligned with the global average, over three-quarters of Taiwanese consumers said that they are very focused on their long term health.
Over 60 per cent said that they actively look for products and services that help them lead a healthy lifestyle.
Nevertheless, healthy ideals have a tendency to outstrip reality when it comes to taking actions.
While one in two agreed that healthy activities are important, only 29 per cent actually practised what they preach.