Feature Article - June 2007
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Fit Facilities

YMCAs higher operating expenditures are likely due to the much greater number of people they employ than other facility types, while health clubs' lower expenditures may be due to the smaller number of people they employ. While the average facility currently employs 240.5 people, sports clubs and health clubs employ just 109.3, and YMCAs employ 389.7. YMCAs use far more part-timers and volunteers than average, and far fewer full-time employees.

YMCAs and health clubs also expected a slower rate of increase in the number of people they employ than the average survey respondent. YMCAs and health clubs both projected about a 7 percent increase in the number of people they employ between now and 2008, compared with more than 10 percent for general survey respondents.

Health clubs and YMCAs were far more likely than the general survey respondents to require their staff members to earn certifications. A full 100 percent of YMCAs require certification of some kind for their staff members, and 98.4 percent of health clubs require certification, compared to just under 83 percent of all facilities. The most common certifications required by health clubs were personal training certifications, which 98.3 percent of health clubs said their staff must have. Just under half of health clubs also required lifeguard certifications or aquatic or pool management certifications.

At YMCAs and health clubs, the most common certification required was a lifeguard certification, required by nearly 96 percent of all YMCAs surveyed. Another 86.7 percent require personal training certifications, and more than two-thirds also require aquatic and pool management certifications.