Consumer Research

IHRSA regularly researches and reports on consumer trends affecting the industry to help IHRSA members and the industry better understand what motivates their communities, and how to meet their members/customers wants and needs. 

Health club consumer behavioral data available free to IHRSA members!

Why do consumers join, stay, and leave their health clubs? With the IHRSA Trend Report, you can learn more about consumer attitudes towards health club members and gain insight into opportunities for your club. This installment covers the second and third quarters of 2013 and focuses on distinctions by gender, generation, and region.

Download all eight installments of the IHRSA Trend Report series (member-only login required).  


Consumer Reports

IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report: 2015 Health Club Activity, Usage, Trends and Analysis is an annual consumer report that provides detailed insight into the participation trends of both member and non-member consumers in U.S. health club facilities. The most current report is based on analysis of 10,778 online interviews that were conducted with a nationwide sample of individuals and households in early 2015.

Learn more about the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report

IHRSA Health Club Consumer Seasonal Report

The IHRSA Health Club Consumer Seasonal Report examines American health club consumer activity preferences by season, and provides data and analyses of activity participation by gender, household income, age group, and geographic region.

Learn more about the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Seasonal Report.

IHRSA Trend Report Archive

 The IHRSA Trend Report is brought to you by IHRSA and the Leisure Trends Group. These trend reports are useful for many reasons: to track past trends, analyze the findings, highlight areas of opportunities, and address what needs to be done to increase member participation. Each report gives a current percentage of Americans that are members of a health club, the main reasons members join, stay at, and leave health clubs.

An opportunities section in each report is an important feature to highlight the main message and key take-aways from the research. Learn how to leverage the trends and market for success by downloading the IHRSA Trend Reports today!

View Trend Report Archive.


Consumer Research FAQs

1.     How many personal trainer users are there in the U.S.?

Based on the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, there are 8 million personal trainer users in the U.S.

2.     How many health club members are there in the U.S.?

According to IHRSA’s annual health club consumer study, 52.9 million Americans six and older are health clubs members. (Source: IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report).

3.     How many “core” health club members are there in the U.S.?

“Core” health club members visit the health club clubs at least 100 times a year. In 2013, 23.2 million of the 52.9 million members were core health club members. This represents the 44% of total membership (Source: IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report).

4.     What percent of U.S. health club members use group exercise?

More than 2 out of five (43%) health club members participate in group exercise, according to the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report. This amounts to roughly 22.1 million members.

5.     What percent of health club members use personal training?

Among health club members, roughly 13.5% use personal trainers. Most personal training users are between the ages of 18 and 44 (Source: IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report).

6.     Why do members join health clubs?

People more frequently cite the following two reasons for joining a health club: to stay healthy and stay in shape. Approximately half (49%) join to lose weight. (Source: IHRSA Trend Report)

7.     Why do members quit health clubs?

In quitting health clubs the economic aspect plays a relevant role: 44% of former members think it is too expensive to keep training in health clubs. Other factors include: location/convenience (people usually choose the closest club available), actual usage of membership (some members just do not show up enough and are no longer interested in membership) and other alternatives (exercising elsewhere for free). (Source: IHRSA Trend Report)

8.     Why do members stay at their health clubs?

According to the IHRSA Trend Report, apart from reaching personal fitness goals and a healthy status, members also continue using their health clubs for the variety of equipment and convenient location. Nearly half cite “the variety of equipment: both strength and cardiovascular (49%),” while a significant segment also cites a convenient location for continued usage (25%). 

9.     Why don’t people join health clubs?

The IHRSA Trend Report highlights cost as the number one barrier to joining: 58% of non-members cited this reason. More than one out of four (30%) of non-members select “I exercise somewhere else for free.” Nearly one out of five participate in an activity outside of the health club (19%).