Roughly one in five American adults has a fitness club membership. With current trends, that figure could double in the next few years. Here are some factors driving the on-going rise in memberships:
The high cost of health care.
Studies show that exercise helps protect against myriad deadly medical conditions. Not only are Americans jumping on the fitness bandwagon to curb their number of visits to the doctor, many employers are actively incentivizing it. Covering a health club membership is one way they can get their own insurance costs down.
What gets measured, gets done. As wearables, such as the Fitbit, make it increasingly easy for individuals to track their own health data, it makes them more interested in doing something about it. It also helps keep them motivated because they can more readily see the results.
Streaming fitness classes.
Streaming classes make it much easier for a busy person to fit in a bit of fitness. Although you might think this would replace the gym, it actually makes it more likely that someone will keep a gym membership. Even if they don’t make it to the gym all the time, they aren’t starting from zero when they can find a chance to go.
Affordable, accessible options.
One of the fastest growing segments of memberships and facilities are those that focus on making it affordable. This includes both HVLP (high-value, low-price) clubs and boutique studios. There are also 24-hour fitness clubs, making it possible to work out any time of the day.
HVLP gyms offer memberships with access to traditional equipment for as low as $10. Fitness boutiques offer classes for specific interests, such as Pilates or circuit training, that go for as little as $20 per class. For those who are feeling the crunch financially, this is a much more accessible way to pursue their interest in fitness.
People are also having children later and having fewer children. This leaves more time and energy for investing in themselves.
These factors are some of the reasons the fitness industry is growing at record speed. There are currently around 32,000 fitness facilities in the U.S., not counting boutique studios, and this number is likely to only climb further.