Survey results show lingering impacts from COVID closures and only partial industry recovery even as consumers expand participation in programs to benefit physical and mental health.
IHRSA, the Global Health & Fitness Association, today released its latest industry analysis report outlining the state of the industry which reflects positive progress across key metrics while still not fully recovered from the dramatic decline triggered by pandemic restrictions and closures.
The 2022 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report provides an essential tool to gain a deep and thorough understanding of the current state of the health and fitness industry. Key report users include industry health clubs and studios, finance and banking industry leaders, insurance partners, industry suppliers, investment analysts, facility and community developers, and others who monitor the industry’s financial status and consumer engagement benchmarks. Report data covers a full spectrum of details on consumer behavior and fitness choices, facility types, exercise choices, location size and performance, program and class trends, consumer demographics and spending, among other areas.
The 2022 IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report was sponsored by Optum, a division of UnitedHealth Group, supporting the fitness industry, and was assembled from detailed responses from 18,000 online consumer interviews and proprietary online panels representative of the U.S. population. Data analysis was conducted by L.E.K., a global strategy consulting firm.
The latest report indicates that the number of total health club consumers in the U.S. climbed to a record 76.5 million including 66.5 million who are currently active members of clubs, studios, programs, and other similar locations. These members are more diverse than ever, including a marked increase in participation by Hispanic consumers, a 5% increase in Gen Z engagement, and an approachable price point where 41% of members pay less than $25 per month to access a facility.
Record high participation of health club consumers still does not reflect a recovery to pre-COVID pandemic levels for the industry overall. COVID restrictions and closures dramatically impacted studios—with the current market reflecting a 36.8 smaller presence, including a decline of 9 million members over 2019.
In 2021, health club members collectively logged 4.5 billion total visits, up 41.6% from the 2020 data released in last year’s report. Current engagement levels represent 68% of pre-COVID levels.
Consistent with pre-COVID data, consumers continue to choose treadmills, resistance machines, and free weights as the three most popular pieces of equipment. The top three activities among members are also consistent with 2019 data in ranked order: yoga, high-intensity interval training, and swimming.
“This year’s report paints a stark picture, outlining how the health and fitness industry remains popular, engages customers, and provides demonstrable value and benefits for physical and mental health, but at the same time we also see that our industry has only reached about two thirds of pre-COVID levels,” IHRSA President & CEO Liz Clark said.
Jeff Solsby is IHRSA’s Senior Vice President of Communications.
The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a global community of health and fitness professionals committed to building their businesses and improving their communities’ health and well-being. The mission of IHRSA is to grow, protect, and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with the benefits that will help them be more successful. IHRSA and its members (health clubs and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and industry suppliers) are dedicated to make the world healthier through regular exercise. For more information visit www.ihrsa.org.