Download IHRSA 2015 Brochure


International Advocacy

IHRSA’s Global Advocacy efforts focus on:

  • Increasing the global understanding of the value of physical activity, to include communicating the importance of clubs as a safe, supportive environment.
  • Identifying the ROI of encouraging an increase in physical activity.
  • Aggregating and disseminating research that supports the global industry's efforts to increase physical activity. 

Health Policy and Promotion

IHRSA works to grow and promote the health and fitness club industry by advancing health promotion through legislation such as tax incentives for physical activity, tax deductibility of health club memberships, tax credits for youth athletics and funding for physical education.

The World Health Organization released a compelling report on the prevalence of chronic disease worldwide. Download the report.

Personal Training Standards

The personal training industry plays a key role in the maturation of the health club industry into a bona fide member of the health care continuum. To ensure that personal trainers provide safe and effective services to the public, many countries/associations have established standards or recommendations relating to personal trainer qualifications and credentials.

IHRSA recognizes ICREPS, The International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals as the organization to facilitate international portability/recognition for exercise professionals worldwide, provide information and support to countries and regions that wish to develop registration systems for exercise professionals, and facilitate sharing of best practice systems between ICREPs members. For more information on please visit

Physical Activity Guidelines Around the World

IHRSA has compiled a list of the government recommended physical activity guidelines for 21 countries. The information has been obtained through research done by IHRSA public policy and has been circulated to international contacts for feedback and assistance. As we receive additional information from contacts, the chart will be updated. IHRSA is looking forward to adding more countries to this list as this is an ongoing project. If you do not see your country on this list please contact us to have the government recommended physical activity guidelines from your country included. View Physical Activity Guidelines.

VAT and Sales Tax

Governments insist on perceiving our industry as a ripe source of tax revenue. Many countries are paying a Value Added Tax (VAT) or sales tax on health club memberships and services, ranging from 5 to 25%. IHRSA believes that healthy living should not be taxed.

Tax Treatment of Fitness in various EU Countries

Deloitte Partner Transaction Services looked at the tax treatment for fitness subsidiaries in Austria, France, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, Spain, Switzerland, and the UK. They looked at Value Added Tax (VAT), Taxation of Employer Subsidies, Personal Income Tax and Subsidies of Health Insurance Companies. Download the details of their findings (PDF).

Music Licensing

Music licensing fees represent a significant cost of doing business for most health club operators. Learn what IHRSA has done to protect the rights of club operators across the globe regarding music copyright battles at


Have news? Send it to IHRSA Advocacy at