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Breakthroughs that will re-shape the gym industry

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Global Fitness Industry Statistics


The global fitness industry (a segment of the wellness services market) continues to benefit from growing awareness of health issues and the importance of exercise in maintaining good health. Consumers of fitness services and products are aware that fitness can provide the necessary tools to optimize one’s health, improve quality of life and extend life span. Examples of fitness industry services and products include physical training equipment, fitness coaches and fitness tracking tools, allowing consumers to keep a close record of their progress and fitness goals.


Apart from growing demand among private consumers, the launch of corporate wellness programs also continue to fuel demand. Companies are paying more attention to employee health and investing in fitness solutions to improve well-being, which in turn boosts productivity, cuts down on absent days due to illness and promotes social interaction between employees. Demand for fitness solutions from individuals with busy work and home lives are catered for through technological innovation and a constantly widening array of exercise options.




With increasing awareness of the potential of fitness regimes in extending life span, older adults are undertaking fitness programs with far greater frequency than in the past. The 2012 World Survey of Fitness Trends points to the high level of discretionary money at the disposal of the retired baby boom generation. This age bracket is in a position to finance memberships with top-end fitness clubs and has the time to undertake long-term exercise programs.


With a rising number of people suffering from back problems, and the aesthetic popularity of core strength, the core training trend has firmly taken root in the fitness industry. Core training involves specific work on the muscles of the back, abdomen and thorax to encourage stability. Equipment used includes wobble boards, BOSU balls, foam rollers and stability balls. Core training is also perceived as groundwork for many other sporting activities as it improves strength and agility.


The popularity of personal training is undeniable, though many people do not have the financial resources to hire their own trainer. Group personal training has, therefore, become the next best thing for many clients who want to benefit from personalized training in small groups of two to four people. Group members thereby get personal attention, while also benefiting from discounts, which is an attractive prospect particularly in times of economic instability.


With consumers showing greater interest in various cultures across many sectors from cooking to fashion, the fitness industry is witnessing a similar trend in the form of workouts like latin-inspired ZUMBA. Other dance workouts are also proving popular with many fitness clubs adding an array of dance classes to their fitness offering to provide clients with a range of fun classes that incorporate resistance training and interval-type exercise.


According to the 2012 World Survey of Fitness Trends, clients looking for fast results are increasingly attracted to high-intensity boot camp classes. This military-style training allows clients to work their strength, flexibility, endurance and cardiovascular fitness through a range of indoor and outdoor exercises. Strict instructors experienced in motivating clients are a large part of the selling point of boot camp programs.



Regional Market Share


The fitness industry has weathered the economic recession. IBIS World reports the US fitness sector continues to record yearly growth of 1% and is worth $25 billion. More than 550,000 people are employed by the US fitness industry. Growth is predicted to remain strong over the coming five-year period, with demand driven by health campaigns promoting healthy living. Demand will also be fuelled by rising income levels, which will in turn allow fitness industry players to expand their facilities. The four leading outfits operating in the US fitness industry generate almost 13% of industry revenue, making this market somewhat concentrated.


China’s fitness industry is set to witness significant growth over the coming years. Though at present only 10% of Chinese people’s income goes to health, it is predicted that this will jump to 30% over the next five years, according to research done by the Guangzhou International Fitness Fair. The Chinese government continues to encourage people to undertake fitness programs, holding a National Fitness Day every year in August.



Market Outlook


The global fitness industry will continue to record steady growth as demand for a wide range of fitness solutions grows due to health awareness and government programs to promote healthy living. Health centers and sports clubs will remain competitive through innovation, offering clients new fun ways to exercise.



Leading Industry Associations




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