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Record 73 Million Worked Out in a Health Club Last Fall/Winter

A record high 73 million Americans indicated using a health club in fall 2014 and winter 2015, according to IHRSA’s newly released Consumer Trend Report, which analyzes seasonality of club membership and usage.

The number of health club members grew from 61.3 million to 63.5 million over the spring/summer of 2014 and fall/winter 2014/2015, respectively. More than one out of five people (22%) age six and older belonged to a U.S. health club over the fall and winter.

“Consistent with historical findings, consumers increase their health club workouts over the fall and winter, as many start the New Year with resolutions to increase physical activity in order to be healthier and feel better,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products.

The report highlights that older adults frequent the health club up to 16 more days than the average over the fall and winter season. While the 25-34 age group indicated using the health club an average of 47 days from October through March, those between the ages of 55-64 utilized the club an average of of 72 days. The report also indicates that older adults typically engage in the health club amenities and activities they grew up with, as they are the most likely generation to utilize resistance machines, stationary cycles, and treadmills.

“Although older generational groups gravitate towards health club equipment, their frequent health club usage presents programming opportunities for club operators,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “In addition to maintaining up to date equipment, club operators can offer non-dues workshops that will help this segment with some of their common goals of maintaining a healthy weight, improving flexibility, and increasing strength.”

Other key findings from the report include: 

  • Millennials are more likely to be a non-member consumer than any other generational group. They are the only generation where the percentage of the population who are consumers exceeds those who are members by a significant margin.
  • Of the 73 million health club users over the fall and winter, 14% were non-members. Nearly 10 million non-member users also frequented gyms and fitness centers, an all-time high.
  • Increased visits over the fall and winter were driven by male participation. In comparison with the spring and summer months of 2014, men visited their clubs 10 more times in the fall 2014 and winter 2015 (56 visits) versus females, who only visited their clubs 46 times. 

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