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IHRSA Report: Club Membership & Revenues Increase


Health club member numbers increased 3.6 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, which equated to a 19.3 percent penetration rate into the America population, according to an IHRSA report.

In 2016, 57.3 million people were members of a health club, according to a report from the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), the Boston-based trade association for commercial health clubs. The member number is an increase of 3.6 percent from 2015 when IHRSA reported 55.3 million members in the United States, and equates to a 19.3 percent penetration rate into the 296.6 million Americans who are age 6 or older.

The report, based on a study conducted by IHRSA as part of the Physical Activity Council, also found 36,540 health clubs in the country, an increase of 1 percent in one year. That number was arrived at using the industry’s SIC code of 7991* for the Yellow Pages and, therefore, may not include all studio locations because some of them may not be classified under this same SIC code, IHRSA explained in a media release about the report.

Revenue is up with health clubs generating $27.6 (AU$37.4) billion in 2016 compared to $25.8 (AU$34.9) billion in 2015, an increase of 7.2 percent.

“Industry revenues continue to grow as members utilise their clubs more frequently with many investing in multiple health club options,” Jay Ablondi, IHRSA’s executive vice president of global products, said in a media release about the report.

“While the increase in the number of fitness centres has slowed, club operators have adeptly responded to consumer needs and demands for variety in fitness programs and training formats.”

The report also found:

  • 66 million consumers used a health club in 2016, an all-time high since IHRSA began tracking consumer statistics in 1987.
  • The average member visited their club 106 times (twice per week) in 2016, which is also an all-time high.
  • Nearly one out of five Americans belonged to at least one health club.
  • Since 2009, health club membership has grown by 26.3 percent.
  • Since 2009, the number of club-goers has increased by 26.5 percent.

* SIC is a Standard Industrial Classification system, used for classifying industries by a four-digit code. Established in the United States in 1937, it is used by government agencies to classify industry areas such as Physical Fitness Facilities.

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