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Group exercise plays role in member retention

Polls and surveys are great. But there are many things that have to be taken into account. 

One of the most important ones is how extensive is the query? If there aren’t many participants than the numbers can be skewed.

The latest IHRSA Member Retention Report looks into group exercise’s impact on member retention. The report uses information from The Retention People’s TRP 10,000 – a survey of 10,000 United Kingdom health and fitness members. TRP 10,000, the biggest and most comprehensive survey of its kind to date, questioned 10,000 UK gym and health club members between July and September 2013.

So, what was determined and discovered during TRP 10,000 and is now in the IHRSA Member Retention Report Volume 2, Issue 2?

Most notably the survey uncovered that those who go to the gym but do not partake in group exercise are 56% more likely to cancel their membership. Almost 60% of those take part in group exercise pointed toward social motivation as the reason they attend the club. 

The quarterly IHRSA Member Retention Report, which examines a different aspect of retention each quarter, is available for free to IHRSA members. Non-members can purchase the report for $29.95 at

 “The latest installment of the IHRSA Member Retention Report is especially valuable as it explores the behavior of two important groups: group exercise class participants and members who work out on their own,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of Global Products. “It’s no surprise that members who make meaningful connections with other people in their club - whether it’s with another member, a trainer, or a group exercise instructor - are more likely to stay longer. This research confirms the positive impact that group exercise, alone, can have on membership retention.”

The Member Retention Report also includes what members do when they come to a club, the breakdown of group exercise participants (gender, age, etc.), and can group exercise participants predict retention.

“As an ongoing study, the TRP 10,000 continues to add to the industry’s collective understanding of member retention based on member behavior and attendance,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “This report is a valuable reference for club operators seeking to better understand how a strong group exercise program can keep members engaged and utilizing their clubs for years to come.”

For more on the IHRSA Member Retention Report, visit the IHRSA Media Center.

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