Feature Article - June 2012
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Colleges & Universities

A Look at Trends in Colleges & Universities


Once again, fitness-related programming was the most commonly offered program at college respondents' facilities, though slightly fewer respondents in 2012 said they offer this type of program (79.6 percent vs. 83.6 percent in 2011). More than half also said they provide mind-body/balance programs such as yoga, tai chi and martial arts (65.8 percent); educational programs (57.6 percent); adult sports teams (54.9 percent); sports tournaments and races (53.5 percent); and individual sports such as running and swimming clubs (50.8 percent). Other commonly offered programs include swimming programs (49.2 percent); personal training (47.8 percent); aquatic exercise programs (41.6 percent); and day camps and summer camps (40.8 percent).

Nearly one-quarter (24.6 percent) of college respondents indicated that they have plans to expand their programming with more options over the next three years. Their most commonly planned program additions include:

  1. Nutrition and diet counseling (up from the No. 9 position in 2011)
  2. Fitness programs (no change)
  3. Mind-body/balance programs (no change)
  4. Day camps and summer camps (down from No. 1)
  5. Personal training (no change)
  6. Individual sports activities (up from No. 7)
  7. Educational programs (down from No. 4)
  8. Aquatic exercise programs (did not appear in last year's top 10 planned programs)
  9. Climbing programs (down from No. 6)
  10. Sport-specific training (down from No. 8)

Nutrition and diet counseling saw a dramatic rise from the ninth most commonly planned program in 2011 to No. 1 on this year's list. This may perhaps reflect a growing focus on wellness initiatives on college campuses, and a desire to ensure students learn an active lifestyle as they pursue their other courses of study. Not appearing on this year's list was sports tournaments and races, as aquatic exercise programs have risen to appear on the list for the first time.