Feature Article - June 2011
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Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

By Emily Tipping

Medical Fitness

The No. 1 partnership formed by health club respondents was with health care and medical facilities. Nearly half (45.1 percent) of health club respondents said they had partnered with such facilities, compared with just 20.1 percent of all respondents.

According to the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), the medical fitness industry has been showing steady growth, of approximately 6 percent per year from 2003 through 2010, when the association's survey results and analysis were released. There has been a growth in the number of centers, as well as the number of people served by medical fitness facilities, with the most recent report estimating more than 3.3 million members—a number expected to grow to more than 4 million by 2015.

"With the advent of healthcare reform, the international launch of ACSM's Exercise Is Medicine initiative and the continued escalation of chronic health conditions in America, the need for the expertise and services provided by medically integrated centers are greater than ever before," said Brad Roy, Ph.D., chairman of the MFA. "The Medical Fitness Association is committed to assisting medically integrated health and fitness facilities in reaching out and improving the health and wellbeing of the communities they serve."

Learn more about the association at www.medicalfitness.org.

Revenues and Expenditures

Respondents from health clubs were among those most likely to report that their revenues had increased from 2009 to 2010, and they were also more likely than other respondents to expect those revenue increases to continue over the next couple of years. While just 36 percent of health club respondents in last year's survey said their revenues had increased from 2008 to 2009, this year, half (50 percent) said their revenues had increased from 2009 to 2010. More than half (54 percent) expect an increase from 2010 to 2011, and more than two-thirds (67.2 percent) expect an increase from 2011 to 2012.

At the same time, almost a quarter (24.2 percent) of health club respondents saw their revenues fall from 2009 to 2010. This is a substantial improvement over last year's survey, when 38.7 percent of health club respondents said revenues had dropped from 2008 to 2009. (See Figure 50.)

Health club respondents reported an average yearly operating expenditure for fiscal 2010 of $1,112,000. This is 22.1 percent lower than the average for all respondents, and is 28.4 percent lower than the average operating expenditure reported for fiscal 2009 by respondents to last year's survey.

Interestingly, health club respondents reported a projected increase in their average operating expenditures for fiscal 2011, followed by a drop in fiscal 2012. They expect expenditures to rise by 1.3 percent from fiscal 2010 to fiscal 2011, to an average of $1,126,000. Then, a 0.8 percent drop is projected from fiscal 2011 to fiscal 2012.