Feature Article - June 2014
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A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


For health clubs, one of the keys to success is keeping members engaged by offering creative and exciting programs. The top 10 programs currently found among health club respondents' facilities include: fitness programs (92.9 percent of health clubs that offer any programs); personal training (80.4 percent); mind-body balance programs such as tai chi and yoga (78.6 percent); nutrition and diet counseling (58.9 percent); programs for active older adults (55.4 percent); holiday events and other special events (51.8 percent); aquatic exercise programs (46.4 percent); educational programs (44.6 percent); swimming programs (41.1 percent); and sports-specific training (37.5 percent).

Program areas that saw growth from 2013 to 2014 include: nutrition and diet counseling (58.9 percent in 2014 vs. 50 percent in 2013); holidays and other special events (51.8 percent vs. 48.4 percent); and educational programs and sport-specific training, which were not included in the top 10 current programs in 2013.They replaced individual sports programs and daycare and preschool programs.

The number of health club respondents who plan to add programming at their facilities has grown over the past few years, from 23.3 percent in 2012 to 31.3 percent in 2013. This year, 37.9 percent of health care respondents have plans to add programming at their facilities. This compares with 28.1 percent of non-health-care respondents who have such plans.

The most commonly planned programs include:

  1. Programs for active older adults (up from No. 3)
  2. Mind-body balance programs like yoga, Pilates and tai chi (did not appear in 2013)
  3. Fitness programs (up from No. 9)
  4. Educational programs (down from No. 1)
  5. Teen programming (up from No. 6)
  6. Nutrition and diet counseling (down from No. 2)
  7. Holidays and special events (did not appear in 2013)
  8. Sports tournaments and races (did not appear in 2013)
  9. Day camps and summer camps (did not appear in 2013)
  10. Performing arts programs (did not appear in 2013)

There is a great deal of change from 2013 to 2014. New programs appearing among the top 10 that were not included in 2013 include mind-body balance programs, holidays and special events, sports tournaments and races, day camps and summer camps, and performing arts programs. They replace personal training (No. 4 in 2013), daycare and preschool programs (No. 5 in 2013), individual sports activities (No. 7 in 2013), special needs programs (No. 8 in 2013), and therapeutic programs (No. 10 in 2013).