Men are more likely to purchase exercise equipment that stresses muscular development/toning, while women are more likely to purchase equipment that focuses on cardiovascular well-being, according to data in the recently released NSGA report “The Sporting Goods Market in 2004.”

Males were the dominant purchasers of multi-purpose home gyms (69%), weight benches (85%) and free weights/weight sets (78%). Women led purchases of elliptical/cross trainers (55%) and motorized treadmills (55%).

Men and women used stationary exercise bicycles equally (45% each), with 10% of purchases going for “household use.” More women (60%) purchased hand/wrist/ankle weights, normally associated with aerobic exercising.

“Cardio exercise — in addition to helping achieve and maintain better health — may also indicate a focus on weight reduction and maintenance,” said NSGA Vice President of Information & Research Thomas B. Doyle.

Exercise equipment represented $4.7 billion of the $21.8 billion athletic and sports equipment market reported for 2003. With clothing and footwear, the “Sporting Goods Market in 2004” placed sporting goods sales at $45.8 billion for 2003 and projects sales of $46.9 billion for 2004.

The data in “The Sporting Goods Market in 2004” projects 2003 purchases of sporting goods products based on a survey of 100,000 U.S. households. National Family Opinion, Inc. maintains the consumer panel used in the survey. It is balanced to parallel actual American household distribution as reported by the U.S. Bureau of Census, so that the data can be projected nationally.

“The Sporting Goods Market in 2004” is available for $235 for retailer/dealer members of the Association and free to manufacturer and sustaining members. For non-members, the cost is $325. For additional information, contact Thomas B. Doyle, NSGA, 1601 Feehanville Drive, Suite 300, Mount Prospect, IL 60056-6035. Phone: (847) 296-6742, E-mail:, or fax: (847) 391-9827.