Feature Article - June 2007
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Fit Facilities

Facility Management

Respondents from YMCAs and health clubs were much more likely than the general population of survey respondents to report increases in the number of people using their facility from 2005 to 2006. They also were much more likely to expect increases between 2006 and 2008. Nearly 70 percent said that usage of their facility had increased from 2005 to 2006, and more than three-quarters expect increases from 2006 to 2007. Nearly 80 percent are anticipating increases from 2007 to 2008.

That said, these facilities were also more likely than the general survey respondents to report a decrease in usage from 2005 to 2006. While just over 6 percent of the general survey population saw a decline in the number of people using their facility from 2005 to 2006, nearly 11 percent of YMCAs and health clubs said they had seen a decline. (See Figure 39.)

As of 2005, there were 2,617 YMCAs serving 20.2 million members—adults and children in 10,000 communities across the United States. The Jewish Community Center Association (JCCA) has more than 350 sites in the United States and Canada. And according to IHRSA, health club membership in the United States increased by more than 3 percent in 2006 to 42.7 million members, while the total number of Americans who visited or belonged to a health club increased by more than 6 percent to 69.3 million people.

"While we are very pleased to see growth in membership, we understand that there is still a lot of work to be done," said Moore in a press release announcing the research results. "It's been a little more than a decade since the first Surgeon General's Report on Physical Activity and Health. And while health club membership has grown by 63 percent since then, the number of Americans who exercise regularly represent just a fraction of the total population."