IHRSA’s 2022 Health Club Consumer Report showed the lingering effects of COVID shutdowns and only a partial industry recovery, even as consumers expand participation in programs to improve physical and mental health.
The report shows that the total number of consumers working out at a health club in the United States has grown to 76.5 million, including 66.5 million active participants of clubs, studios, programs and other similar venues. The number indicates a marked increase in Hispanic member participation, a 5% increase in Gen Z, and affordability where 41% of members pay less than $25 per month.
However, the record number of health club member consumers does not reflect pre-COVID levels overall, with the current market reflecting a reduced presence of 36.8%, including a drop of 9 million members from 2019.
In 2021, health club members saw 4.5 billion total visits, up 41.6% from 2020 data published in last year’s report. Current levels are 68% of pre-COVID levels.
Consistent with pre-COVID data, consumers continue to choose treadmills, weight machines, and free weights as the three most popular pieces of exercise equipment. The top three activities are also consistent with the 2019 data in ranking order: yoga, HITT, and swimming.
“This year’s report paints a bleak picture, describing how the health and fitness industry remains popular, engages customers, and delivers demonstrable value and benefits for physical and mental health, but at the same time we see also that our industry is only about two-thirds of pre-COVID levels,” said IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark.