Report: Health Club, Gym, & Studio Usage Reach All-Time High

    The newly released 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report analyzes U.S. fitness trends, generational use, and preferences.

    BOSTON, MA—September 30, 2019—The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has released the 2019 Health Club Consumer Report. This annual publication, based on a nationwide sample of more than 20,000 interviews, provides demographics and health, sports, and fitness participation data on America’s health club consumers.

    "U.S. health club usage reached an all-time high in 2018 as more than 71 million people utilized health and fitness services at a fitness center, gym, or studio,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “In fact, more than one out of five Americans report belonging to a health club last year, once again, demonstrating the critical role the health and fitness industry plays in helping millions of people become and stay active, lead healthier lives, and pursue their health and fitness goals.”

    The report shows fitness activity participation at health clubs varies across demographics, including generational groups. Millennials & Gen Xers account for the greatest share of health club membership at a combined 57% of total members, while Generation Z represents 14% of total members, Baby Boomers 22%, and the Silent Generation 7%. As expected, club activity preferences vary across generational groups, providing insight for club operators and fitness directors. While the Z and Millennial generations are more inclined to engage in group-based activities, Gen Xers and younger Boomers prefer to utilize cardio and strength training equipment.

    Press release 2019 Consumer Report infographic Gen Z column

    The report guides club operators on how to better understand consumer behavior as well as leverage demographic trends in efforts to stand out from the competition. The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is organized into the following topics:

    • U.S. Health/Fitness Club Trends: An analysis of total membership and consumer growth trends;
    • Membership Behavior & Industry Models: Insights on industry segmentation in response to trends in member behavior;
    • Member Demographics and Implications for the Industry: An exploration of gender, household income, age, educational, and ethnicity, as well as how demographics are influencing the health club industry;
    • Member Attendance & Tenure: Insights on membership tenure and attendance;
    • Member Activity Behavior: An examination of consumer utilization of equipment and participation in group-based training formats;
    • The Price-Value Paradox: An analysis of fees paid overall and per club segment;
    • Personal & Small Group Training: An overview of private and small group training clients;
    • (NEW) Generation Z: An overview of how the youngest generation engages with fitness facilities;
    • Overarching Insights & Recommendations: Applications for clubs and suppliers gleaned from consumer findings;
    • Relevant Insights and Takeaways
    • Health Club User Infographic Insights: A snapshot of the report, including fitness trends by generation.

    The 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is based on an analysis of 20,069 online interviews that were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households in early 2019. This publication is available in PDF format for $99.95 (IHRSA member price) and $199.95 (non-members).

    About IHRSA

    The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is the trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, racquet and sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. Its mission is to grow, promote, and protect the health and fitness industry. As one of the world's leading authorities on the commercial health club industry, IHRSA regularly conducts industry and consumer research, along with club operator studies.

    Contact IHRSA public relations with media inquiries.

    Author avatar

    Melissa Rodriguez

    As IHRSA's Senior Research Manager, Melissa Rodriguez oversees research initiatives for the health club consumer, club operations, and international markets. The best part of her job is helping members better understand how IHRSA research can help them improve and expand their business. When she's not analyzing data and statistics, Melissa enjoys spending time with family, watching superhero series, poring over NBA and NFL box scores, and reading a good book.