2018 Shows Continuing Uptrend of U.S. Health Club Industry

    Gym membership surpasses 62 million, up 2.6% from 2017 numbers, according to new IHRSA data.

    A positive economic outlook in 2018 was reflected by the U.S. health club industry, suggests new data collected by IHRSA, with an uptick in consumer interest, memberships, new facilities, and revenue.

    Consumers flocked to health clubs and gyms last year, with over 6 billion individual visits to nearly 40,000 fitness facility. This resulted in a revenue increase to $32.3 billion, up from $30 billion in 2017, a 7.8% growth.

    “We are happy to report that along with consumer growth, the number of fitness facilities and total industry revenue increased in 2018,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Consumers in the U.S. continue to place a high value on their health, investing in club access and services in order to meet their health and wellness needs as well as fitness and athletic goals.”

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    More than 71 million consumers utilized U.S. health clubs in 2018, a record high since IHRSA began tracking health club utilization in 1987. The number of individual members totaled 62.4 million, up 2.6% from 60.9 million in 2017.

    Meeting the Need of the Health Club Customer

    Based on a study of 20,069 online interviews conducted by IHRSA as part of the Physical Activity Council (PAC), about 1 out of 5 Americans (20.8%) belong to at least one U.S. health club or studio. Since 2008, membership has grown by 37.1%, while the total number of club-goers has increased by 34%.

    “We’re proud to highlight that the U.S. health club industry is increasingly serving the health, fitness, and wellness needs of consumers,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. “More than 62 million health club members use a club or studio for an average of 104 days a year, while 9 million non-member users attend a club or studio for an average of 24 days a year.”

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    At 39,570, the number of health club facilities increased by 2.8% over the previous year, up from 38,477 locations. In 2018, U.S. health club industry revenue increased to $32.3 billion, up from $30 billion in 2017, a 7.8% growth.

    These results will be featured in two upcoming reports, the 2019 IHRSA Global Report that will provide an overview of the worldwide health club industry and the 2019 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report, which will provide analysis of health club consumer growth, demographics, utilization, and trends as well as insights and applications for club operators.

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    IHRSA Staff @IHRSA

    This article was a team effort by several IHRSA experts.