Fitness Industry Roundup: Progress in Physical Activity Trends

This week’s roundup features physical activity trends, a walking for a cure event, the launch of a Chinese website to support IHRSA members, and more.

It is truly music to the ears hearing—and seeing—more discussions about physical activity and the connection to overall health and well-being. And, with big players like the World Health Organization and U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) taking note and making changes, it’s a breath of fresh air. It’s a step in the right direction for people worldwide. I’ll cover a new CDC supplement that explains physical activity trends over the past 20 years—spoiler alert: the results look positive overall.

You’ll also read about one fitness association that’s running a good cause in honor of one of their own, and a new IHRSA/ChinaFit website to support Chinese gym operators. Down the line, you’ll hear about survey results that detail how U.S. adults feel about support to help meet their health and wellness goals and one IHRSA member that is raking in the awards.

CDC Releases ‘Progress and New Directions in Physical Activity Surveillance’

The CDC’s Division on Nutrition, Physical Activity, and Obesity (DNPAO) ​​recently released an issue in the Journal of Physical Activity & Health. The 13 article supplement, Progress and New Directions in Physical Activity Surveillance, examines data and trends—some over 20 years—for U.S. adults and youth in:

  • aerobic exercise,

  • muscle-strengthening, and

  • sitting behavior.

Based on the findings, U.S. adults are more physically active now than 20 years ago. “Yet important differences exist among some racial groups, across income levels, and among people with chronic health conditions,” said Geoffrey Whitfield, Ph.D., CDC’s lead of epidemiology and surveillance team, physical activity and health branch. “These findings will guide efforts to help more Americans enjoy the tremendous health benefits of being physically active.” The DNPAO is hosting a webinar on September 30 to discuss physical activity trends over the past 20 years, plus recent research on the benefits of and barriers to physical activity.

Read the articles to learn more.

Michigan Fitness Club Association Fights Cancer

The Third Annual Cult for a Cure 5K Walk returns to Detroit, MI, on Saturday, October 23, at 10 a.m. Started by Burn Fitness and its co-founder Alyssa Tushman, this year’s event is sponsored and supported by the Michigan Fitness Club Association (MFCA). All proceeds benefit the University of Michigan Health Rogel Cancer Center Breast Oncology Program and are tax-deductible. At the time of publishing, MFCA has raised $34,565 of its $250,000 goal. To become an event sponsor, contact Alyssa Tushman at

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Source: Cult for a Cure Facebook

Visit this page to learn more, register, or donate.

IHRSA Website Debuts in China, More Global Efforts to Come

As part of IHRSA and ChinaFit’s Membership Licensing Agreement, a website similar to IHRSA’s U.S. version has been created and recently launched in China. The website will serve as the official membership platform and service support for Chinese operators to join IHRSA. Currently, 21 IHRSA publications are available through the website in Chinese—both member-exclusive and open access—and a team is in place to provide real-time support to IHRSA members in China to service their additional needs. This website is the first-of-its-kind for IHRSA but will not be the last. Plans are in progress to launch more websites in other languages for use in countries worldwide. IHRSA aims to gain a broader global reach and better support fitness markets overseas with more teams and translated resources available on websites.

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U.S. Adults Value Health & Wellness Guidance From Someone With Similar Experiences

A Medifast survey confirms that more than four in five U.S. adults believe they would be more successful in creating healthy habits if they had support from someone who has been in their shoes. "This is true for our clients, who are supported by independent OPTAVIA coaches – the majority of whom have undergone their own transformation on [the] program and therefore understand what clients are going through,” said Dan Chard, chairman and CEO of Medifast.

“58% of U.S. adults have turned to other people or tools for support in achieving their fitness goals.”

Back-to-back Medifast survey results show that informational, emotional, and affirmational support is most helpful in creating healthy habits. According to the press release on PR Newswire, 66% of U.S. adults said having support is advantageous in their health and wellness journey, and 58% have turned to other people or tools for support in achieving their fitness goals. OPTAVIA offers clients clinically proven plans, scientifically developed products, and a proprietary system to help them create lifelong healthy habits.

Read the full release.

Upper Hand Collects Its Eighth Fitness-related Software Accolade This Year

Capterra, a free online service that helps organizations find the right software, recently named Upper Hand a “Noteworthy Product”. In a recent press release, Upper Hand, an IHRSA member, stated that with a 4.1 out of 5 rating, it is one of the top-rated products on Capterra. Kevin MacCauley, founder and CEO of Upper Hand, said, “We believe there is an incredible opportunity to add value in the fitness space, and we intend to continue leading our customers in the face of this market disruption.”

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Source: Upper Hand

So far, Upper Hand has won five Capterra Shortlist categories this year:

  • Best Fitness Software,

  • Best Personal Training Software,

  • Best Yoga Studio Software,

  • Best Club Management Software, and

  • Best Membership Management Software.

Find out more about Upper Hand.

Has your health or fitness-related business been featured in the news recently? We want to know! Send a link to any news article or video that highlighted your business to, and we may include it in a future issue of the Fitness Industry Roundup.

Author avatar

Sami Smith

Sami Smith is IHRSA's Senior Manager of Digital Communications, working to shape the organization's image on various digital platforms. On a typical day, she creates content, delivers impactful communications, and executes targeted marketing efforts to keep IHRSA at the forefront of the industry. Outside of the office, you can find her exploring new destinations, indulging in food, or participating in just about any sport.