Sponsored by:

Dumor Site Furnishings - We're Comfortable Anywhere
Feature Article - June 2019
Find a printable version here

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), there were 39,570 health club facilities in the United States in 2018, a 2.8 percent increase over the previous year. More than 71.5 million consumers used those health clubs—a record high since IHRSA began tracking health club utilization in 1987. In 2018, IHRSA reports, U.S. health club industry revenue increased to $32.3 billion, up from $30 billion in 2017.

In this section, we'll take a closer look at trends reported by health club respondents, which includes health clubs, sports clubs, fitness clubs and medical fitness facilities. These respondents made up 3.4 percent of the survey population in 2019.

As with the general survey population, respondents from health clubs were most likely to be from the Midwest. Some 26.1 percent of health club respondents said they were located in the Midwest. They were followed by the South Central region (21.7 percent), the West (21.7 percent) and the Northeast (17.4 percent). Finally, 13 percent of health club respondents were located in the South Atlantic states.

Respondents from health clubs were most likely to be located in suburban communities. More than four in 10 (45.6 percent) said they were located in the suburbs. They were followed by rural areas, with 34.7 percent, and 19.6 percent were located in urban communities.

On average, health club respondents said they serve a population of 72,130 people. Nearly two-thirds (66 percent) of health club respondents said they reach a population of 20,000 or fewer people, compared with 43 percent of non-health-club respondents. Conversely, 19.1 percent of health club respondents reach a population of 100,000 or more, while 20.5 percent of non-health-club respondents reach a population of at least 100,000.

Some 45.8 percent of health club respondents were from private for-profit organizations. Nearly three in 10 (29.2 percent) were with private nonprofit organizations, and 22.9 percent were with public organizations. Another 2.1 percent said they are with "other" types of organizations.

Respondents from health clubs manage an average of 4.7 facilities. They were more likely than non-health-club respondents to report that they manage just a single facility. Some 64.6 percent of health club respondents said they manage just one facility, compared with 31.5 percent of non-health-club respondents. Conversely, while 20.2 percent of non-health-club respondents manage 10 or more facilities, just 6.3 percent of health club respondents said they have 10 or more facilities to manage.

Health club respondents were among the least likely to report that they form partnerships with other organizations, though a majority do so. Some 77.1 percent of health club respondents said they partner with outside organizations (up from 69.2 percent in 2018). This compares with 88.3 percent of non-health-club respondents. The most common partners for health club respondents include: local schools (41.7 percent of health club respondents partner with them); corporations and local businesses (41.7 percent); health care and medical facilities (39.6 percent); nonprofit organizations (29.2 percent); and colleges and universities (29.2 percent).

Respondents from health clubs were far more likely than others to report that their primary audience is made up of adults. Some 57.4 percent of health clubs said this was their primary audience, compared with just 13.5 percent of non-health-club respondents. Another 36.2 percent of health club respondents said they reach all ages, while 4.3 percent primarily serve seniors. The remainder are split between children and infants/toddlers.