27 Fitness Industry Statistics & Growth Trends

If you’ve recently joined a gym, started a new fitness program, or have finally built your dream home gym, then you’ve contributed to the 8.7% growth the world has seen in the health and fitness industry this year. This industry has been on a steady trend upward over the past decade, but in the past
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If you’ve recently joined a gym, started a new fitness program, or have finally built your dream home gym, then you’ve contributed to the 8.7% growth the world has seen in the health and fitness industry this year.

This industry has been on a steady trend upward over the past decade, but in the past few years things have been booming. If you’re an entrepreneur, or just a really crazed fitness guru, these numbers will excite you. The resurgence of health and fitness is worldwide and creating billions in revenue.

Here are some surprising fitness industry statistics, market trends, and growth rates.

Global Fitness Market Size Statistics

In 2018, the global wellness economy was worth $4.5 trillion.

Amazingly, the global wellness economy is half as large as the total global expenditures for health. There are ten key sectors included in this number with the top three being Personal Care, Beauty and Anti-Aging, Healthy Eating, Nutrition and Weight Loss, and Wellness Tourism.

The industry grew by 6.4 percent annually from 2015–2017, from a $3.7 trillion to a $4.2 trillion market, nearly twice as fast as global economic growth (3.6 percent annually, based on IMF data).

The global health club market is worth $87.2 billion and has grown every year since 2008.

2019 saw an 8.7% growth rate; this is an abnormally large boom though and rates are expected to slow, but still maintain 2-5% growth globally.

It’s becoming more apparent that consumers are willing to spend more to improve their own health and wellness and gyms know it. Memberships for luxury health clubs like Equinox and LifeTime Fitness are on the rise, showcasing how members are beginning to gravitate towards a VIP experience rather than being accommodated like regular patrons.

There are over 200,000 fitness clubs worldwide

With more and more people showing an interest in fitness, smart investors are giving them a place to go! The number of health and fitness clubs has increased to accommodate not only high-population regions, but small-town, rural areas as well.

The number of global clubs saw a 1.9% increase from 201,250 in 2017 to 205,180 in 2019. This is a pretty modest boost compared to the notable 7.6% jump from 186,850 in 2015 to 201,070 in 2016.

China, India, Poland, Russia and Turkey are expected to see the largest growth in the coming years.

The market is expanding globally but these countries offer prime interest and real estate for boutique studios; this upward trend in smaller specialized studios is already taking place in tier 3 and 4 cities of China.

When looking at the global market however, the US has the most amount of clubs followed by Brazil with 38,477 and 34,509 (not counting boutique studios or community recreational facilities) respectively.

U.S. Fitness Clubs Statistics

In 2018, the revenue from fitness clubs in the U.S. was $32.3 billion, up from $30 billion in 2017.

With this number in mind, there are easily 71.5 million fitness clients served across the nation according to IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association). What’s even more impressive is this makes up almost 40% of the 183 million being served globally.

20% of Americans have at least one gym membership

1 in 5 Americans have at least one gym membership.

With that many people interested in health and fitness this means 1 in 5 Americans (and 1 in 7 individuals in the UK) have at least 1 gym membership. Between the boutique fitness studios and giant health clubs, the average membership is worth $517 a year and the number of individuals who hold a gym memberships has grown by 37.1% since 2008.

Functional training equipment has seen the largest growth on the equipment side of the equation.

Clubs still stock their floors with the staple machines, but the surge of HIIT and functional training has put the spotlight on free weights, plyo boxes, and other versatile pieces. This versatility also comes with lower overall costs for clubs. Roughly 30% of fitness studios will spend less than $1000 on equipment upkeep this year, while 65% of clubs will spend less than $5000.

For those interested in the big players, the three largest gym chains globally are LA Fitness, Konami Sports & Fitness, and Life Time Fitness.

These three chains account for over $5 billion of the fitness industries revenue. The three largest gyms in the US are La Fitness, Life Time Fitness and 24 Hour Fitness.

12% of all new gym memberships occur in January

Gym owners know that January is the busiest time of year for fitness. People are ready to shed their holiday pounds and launch new healthy habits motivated by New Year’s resolutions. That’s why gym owners plan enticing promotions requiring very little money down, knowing that despite the flood of new members, the majority won’t return after a few months.

Fitness Professionals Statistics

Employment of Certified Fitness Professionals has increased.

With this many people interested in joining gyms and using fitness related technology, there has also been a sizeable uptick in certified professionals being employed within this realm. The ACSM predicts companies will continue placing emphasis on hiring certified professionals over their peers as exercise is now being recognized as a form of “medicine”, some doctors are even prescribing it!

Personal training is seeing a resurgence thanks to more certified professionals and the help of technology.

Now personal trainers can use online platforms to connect with clients worldwide. This form of training has been a top 10 trend since its emergence in 2006 and is finding a new market for expansion.

The median salary for a personal trainer is about $40,000 ($19.42 per hour)

If you’re interested in becoming a personal trainer, you’ll be pleased to discover the average salary accommodates fairly well for someone living in the U.S. And while the lowest 10% of trainers earned around $20,000, the top 10% earned over $75,000.

The projected growth rate for personal trainer jobs is 15% from 2019 to 2029

The employment rate for personal trainers is expected to grow faster than the average of all other occupations according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. As more insurance companies, government entities, and businesses prioritize health for their employees, incentive programs created to increase membership will spur demand for health instructors and trainers.

In many cases, these organizations may open their own facilities to promote wellness among employees. This presents even more employment opportunities for trainers and instructors.

Personal Training is considered the 18th best job in the U.S.

Considering there are thousands of different occupations available in America, it’s amazing to find personal training near the top of the list. But it also makes sense!

Trainers typically work in low stress environments with the ability to set their own schedule. Plus, many have reported the work to be intrinsically satisfying, and felt their contributions directly benefited society.

Online and Home Fitness Industry Statistics

Not sure if you want to go to the gym every day? That’s ok, the fitness industry has options outside of the club now too.

Even with the growth of memberships, and boutique clubs, home fitness is still seeing an upward trend. Peleton, Aaptiv, Les Mills’ and other smart technologies have helped increase fitness equipment revenues in the past year as well.

You don’t have to open a gym or sell equipment to reap the benefits either.

Technology associated with health and fitness is seeing just as much growth as the fitness industry itself. With Millennials highly interested in tracking everything from daily heart rate to body fat percentage, sleep, activity minutes, food logs, and any other quantifiable metric, fitness apps have become a substantial portion of fitness sales. Added trend: Women are twice as likely to use fitness related apps than men.

In a U.S. study of 2,000 Americans, 75% said it’s easier to stay fit at home

Because of the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic, many U.S. citizens were forced to quarantine and abandon their commercial gym memberships. While this did create a significant short-term decline in gym attendance, many reported that staying in shape at home was not only manageable, but in many cases easier thanks to streaming services and home gym equipment.

Peloton increased its revenue by 110% from 2018 to 2019

With over 1.4 million users, Peloton has become a juggernaut in the home fitness market with much of its growth directly related to the 2020 pandemic. The company closed their 2019 fiscal year reporting $915 million in revenue, up from $435 million in 2018 and $218.6 million in 2017. 

16% of U.S. adults increased their use of online exercise videos

Because of quarantining and social-distancing to combat COVID-19, in-person exercise instruction to a major hit. This significantly increased demand for online instruction through various services such as Netflix, Amazon Video, and YouTube.

Fitness Technology Statistics

21% of U.S. adults wear a fitness tracker or smart watch regularly

A 2019 survey conducted by Pew Research Center found that about 1 in 5 American adults wear a smart watch or health tracker throughout the day. With this much widespread participation in wearable fit tech, it’s no wonder the U.S. and global fitness markets have been seeing consistent growth.

Smart watches are more popular in higher-income households

This shouldn’t come as surprising, but wearable fitness technology appears to be a trend enjoyed more by households with higher incomes. In households earning at least $75,000 a year, 31% say they regularly wear a smart watch compared to only 12% of households earning less than $30,000 annually.

The wearable tech market is worth over $50 billion

IDTechEx published a report stating that the market on wearable tech was worth over $50 billion in 2019. This market saw “hockey stick growth” in the last few years, increasing by 100% since 2014.

The fitness tracker market is projected to keep growing

By 2023, the global fitness trackers market is expected to reach over $62 million according to research by Allied Market Research. This projects the compound annual growth rate (CAGR) at 19.6%.

Revenue for the top 10 fitness and healthcare apps increased by 61% in 2019

We can’t forget about the “OG” when it comes to fitness tech; your smartphone. That’s why popular fitness and health organizations are striving to improve their monetization strategies from apps. The top 10 healthcare and fitness apps were able to reach $327 million worldwide in 2019, up by 61% in 2018.

FAQ

How many people are in the fitness industry?

According to IBIS World, there are 782,952 people in the fitness industry employed at gym and health and fitness clubs in the United States. And because of increased awareness in personal health thanks to fitness trackers and other wearable technology, this number has increased 1.5% on average from 2015 to 2020.

How much is the fitness industry worth in 2020?

In 2020, the revenue from the Gym, Health & Fitness Clubs industry is $32.5 billion. That’s a lot of gym memberships! Some of the most popular chains earning a large portion of this revenue include 24 Hour Fitness, Bally Total Fitness, LA Fitness, Planet Fitness, Snap Fitness, Curves Fitness, Anytime Fitness, World Gym and Gold’s Gym.

What percentage of the population has a gym membership?

About 14% of the United States population has a gym membership. That’s about 45 million people who had the motivation to prioritize their health and wellness in their lives. Unfortunately, sticking to an effective health routine for the long term is challenging for the average person. That’s why about 80% of all gym memberships go unused.

Fitness Statistics Summary

Every aspect of the health and fitness industry is expected to continue growing in the coming years. The importance of exercise is being recognized in every country; clubs are popping up everywhere with millions ready to sign up for their membership. For those who can’t make it into the gym or local club there is a growing network of applications, websites, and home fitness technologies that will help create an exciting and worthwhile workout for you.

Getting and staying involved in an exercise program will be the new norm, just ask the 183 million individuals already participating. Take advantage of this growth by joining a gym close to you, starting one of your own, or becoming a certified professional to help serve all the clients in need.

References

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