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Media Center

Get the latest news about the health and fitness industry, consumer research and trend information, IHRSA advocacy, and the role that it plays in providing a solution to the crisis of physical inactivity.

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Recent Press Releases:


IHRSA Awards Institute Merit Scholarship

IHRSA, The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association has awarded Michele Glaeser, General Manager at Adventure 212 Fitness in Stevens Point, WI with the 2014 John McCarthy Merit Scholarship to attend the 2014 Institute for Professional Club Management. A grateful Michele commented, “thank you, thank you, thank you for selecting me to be this year’s recipient!! I am more than thrilled about this experience and am looking forward to it with graciousness!” Michele and approximately eighty additional health club professionals will be attending the Institute, IHRSA’s highly regarded education and training program for club professionals, August 5-8 at the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

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Robert Brewster is New Chairperson of IHRSA Board of Directors

IHRSA Announces Robert Brewster, President of The Alaska Club, a network of 18 facilities based in Anchorage, Alaska, as the new chairperson of the IHRSA Board for the 2014/2015 term; and welcomes three new members to its Board of Directors for the 2014/2018 term.

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IHRSA Global 25 Profiles the Health Club Industry’s Movers and Shakers 

July 1, 2014 – Boston, MA – Today, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) announced the release of The IHRSA Global 25, which lists the top 25 health club companies worldwide. Compiled by IHRSA’s Club Business International (CBI) magazine, The IHRSA Global 25 recognizes top players in terms of revenue, memberships, and units. This prestigious list of club operators is based on The 2014 IHRSA Global Report, which profiles nearly 400 club businesses worldwide.

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New IHRSA Member Retention Report Now Available

Boston MA, June 30, 2014 -- Today, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) released Volume 2, Issue 2 of the IHRSA Member Retention Report. Conducted in partnership with The Retention People (TRP), this issue examines the impact of group exercise on membership retention.

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IHRSA Statement on DC Sales Tax

The International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) Opposes a Tax on Healthy Lifestyles
Policy makers should instead work to encourage physical activity, which improves health, helps bring down the cost of health care, and bolsters our national and local economies. Taxing health club memberships discourages people from exercising. 

Policy makers who are willing to tax those who are physically active are ignoring the high cost of physical inactivity. People who exercise regularly are significantly less likely to suffer from obesity-related and other chronic diseases, incur fewer health care costs, are less likely to suffer from depression and anxiety, and are more productive employees with lower rates of sick leave and presenteeism.

Exercise Is Medicine: Exercise Isn’t Just “Good For You,” It’s the Closest Thing We Have to A Miracle Drug
Supporters of the wellness tax argue that we can’t exempt everything that is “good for you” from the sales tax, so it’s fine to create a tax on fitness memberships. But exercise isn’t just “good for you,” it’s actually the closest thing humans have to a miracle drug. And, notably, we have a physical inactivity crisis on our hands.

For the sake of public health, governments (at every level) should be doing everything in their power to promote physical activity and make it easier to pursue a healthy lifestyle. In fact, the tax proposal before the DC Council would continue the sales tax exemptions for groceries, prescription drugs, and non-prescription drugs. Given that exercise is routinely prescribed by physicians, it is illogical and unnecessary to distinguish a fitness membership from a prescription or non-prescription drug.

Creating a new sales tax on fitness memberships – making it more expensive to exercise in a safe, supportive environment - is the exact opposite step the DC Council should take. #DontTaxWellness

Join the Campaign
Consumers and health club members should join the campaign here. 

Fitness professionals and health club owners should join the campaign here.

National Trend
The national trend is toward policies that encourage people to be physically active. Since 2006, 18 states have considered legislation that would make health club memberships more affordable and accessible by providing a tax credit or tax deduction. During that same time period, 12 states have considered legislation that would tax health club memberships but only one state, New Jersey, passed the tax - in 2006. Currently, 25 states tax health club memberships.  

IHRSA is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion. 

About IHRSA's View on "Exercise is Medicine"

See the Joint Commentary between Dr. Phillips and Joe Moore that ran on June 19, 2014 on Huffington Post.