Feature Article - June 2015
Find a printable version here

Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs

A Look at Trends in Health, Fitness & Sports Clubs


Keeping members coming back for more—as well as signing up new members—requires health club respondents to offer diverse programming options, in addition to providing clean and safe facilities and equipment. The top 10 programs currently found among health club respondents' facilities include: fitness programs (provided by 97.3 percent of health club respondents); personal training (85.1 percent); mind-body/balance programs such as yoga (82.4 percent); holidays and other special events (58.1 percent); active older adult programming (55.4 percent); aquatic exercise programs (45.9 percent); nutrition and diet counseling (45.9 percent); day camps and summer camps (41.9 percent); swimming programs (39.2 percent); and sports tournaments and races (37.8 percent).

Programming types that saw growth from 2014 to 2015 include: holidays and other special events (up 6.8 percent); personal training (up 4.7 percent); fitness programs (up 4.4 percent); and mind-body/balance programs (up 3.8 percent).

There was a significant drop in the percentage of health club respondents who have plans to add programs at their facilities in 2015. In 2014, 37.9 percent of health club respondents had such plans. In 2015, only 23 percent have plans to add programs. This compares with 32.5 percent of non-health-club respondents.

The most commonly planned programs among health club respondents include:

  1. Mind-body/balance programs such as yoga (up from No. 2)
  2. Individual sports activities such as running clubs (did not appear in 2014)
  3. Fitness programs (no change from 2014)
  4. Teen programming (up from No. 5)
  5. Day camps and summer camps (up from No. 9)
  6. Nutrition and diet counseling (no change from 2014)
  7. Special needs programs (did not appear in 2014)
  8. Daycare or preschool programs (did not appear in 2014)
  9. Personal training (did not appear in 2014)
  10. Sport-specific training such as tennis or golf lessons (did not appear in 2014)

There is generally a great deal of change in the top planned programs among health club respondents, and 2015 is no exception. New programs appearing among the top 10 that were not included in 2014 include: individual sports activities, special needs programs, daycare or preschool programs, personal training, and sport-specific training. They replace: programs for active older adults (No. 1 in 2014); educational programs (No. 4 in 2014); holidays and other special events (No. 7 in 2014); sports tournaments and races (No. 8 in 2014); and performing arts programs (No. 10 in 2014).