IHRSA’s 2022 Health Club Consumer Report showed lingering impacts from COVID closures and only partial industry recovery even as consumers expand participation in programs to benefit physical and mental health.
The report shows that the total number of consumers who work out at a health club in the U.S. increased to 76.5 million, including 66.5 million active participants of clubs, studios, programs, and other similar locations. The number indicated a marked increase in member participation by Hispanics, a 5 percent increase in Gen Z, and an approachable price point where 41 percent of members pay less than $25 per month.
However, the record high number of consumers who are health club members does not reflect pre-COVID levels overall—with the current market reflecting a 36.8 percent smaller presence, including a decline of 9 million members over 2019.
In 2021, health club members logged 4.5 billion total visits, up 41.6 percent from the 2020 data released in last year’s report. Current levels represent 68 percent of pre-COVID levels.
Consistent with pre-COVID data, consumers continue to choose treadmills, resistance machines and free weights as the three most popular pieces of exercise equipment. The top three activities are also consistent with 2019 data in ranked order: yoga, HITT and swimming.
“This year’s report paints a stark picture, outlining how the health and fitness industry remains popular, engages customers, and provides demonstrable value and benefits for physical and mental health, but at the same time, we also see that our industry has only reached about two-thirds of pre-COVID levels,” said IHRSA President and CEO Liz Clark.