“U.S. health club membership reached an all-time high in 2017, attracting 60.9 million members, an increase of 6.3 percent from 2016,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products. “Another 9.1 million non-members exercised at clubs. In all, nearly one in four Americans use a health club to pursue fitness and wellness goals.”

The report shows how consumers use health clubs to engage in regular activity and pursue fitness goals. “Nearly half of members are core health club users, meaning they visit the club for at least 100 days a year,” said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA’s senior research manager. “Considering the variety of programs and services as well as relatively affordable membership fees, full-service health clubs tend to attract a greater share of core members than boutique studios.”

The report shows that 23 percent of health club members belonged to at least one club or studio in 2017. Studio consumers were more likely to be members of multiple facilities in comparison with members of full-service clubs such as fitness-only and multipurpose sport facilities. For example, as many as nine out of 10 members of combat-focused studios belong to more than one facility, while only one out of four members of fitness-only centers belonged to more than one club.

The report guides club operators in how to better understand consumer behavior as as well as leverage demographic trends in efforts to stand out from the competition. The 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is organized into the following chapters:

  • Chapter 1. U.S. Health/Fitness Club Trends: An analysis of total membership and consumer growth trends;
  • Chapter 2. Membership Behavior & Industry Models: Insights on industry segmentation in response to trends in member behavior;
  • Chapter 3. 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;
  • Chapter 4. Member Attendance & Tenure: Insights on membership tenure and attendance;
  • Chapter 5. Member Activity Behavior: An examination of consumer utilization of equipment and participation in group-based training formats;
  • Chapter 6. The Price-Value Paradox: An analysis of fees paid overall and per club segment;
  • Chapter 7. Personal & Small Group Training: An overview of private and small group training clients;
  • Chapter 8. Overarching Insights & Recommendations: Applications for clubs and suppliers gleaned from consumer findings;
  • Appendix – 10 Key Findings & Infographic Insights: One-page summary of key data points and infographic highlights of report.

The 2018 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report is based on an analysis of 30,099 online interviews that were carried out with a nationwide sample of individuals and households in early 2018. The publication is available in PDF format for $99.95 (IHRSA member price) and $199.95 (non-members).