19+ Statistics and Facts About the Fitness Industry (2020)

Last modified: November 15, 2020

With a revenue of $87 billion, the fitness industry is a profitable venture indeed! Explore all the latest trends regarding this lucrative market right here.

Over the last couple of years, people all over the world have become more self-aware of the importance associated with living a healthy lifestyle. Because of this, fitness has become a trend for millions of people, leading to a rapid increase in the size and popularity of the global fitness industry. Despite the fact that the vast majority of people now live more sedentary lives, an increasing number of individuals are opting for a more proactive lifestyle; the benefits are plenty and well-known. After all, who doesn’t want to have better health, while also being physically and mentally stronger?

Grasping the sheer size of the market can be difficult, which is where this article comes in. As such, this piece is centered on outlining some of the most important statistics and facts associated with the health and fitness industry. After reading up on these stats, those who are interested in the fitness sector will better understand its shape, both in the United States and abroad. Insight into recent trends will also be given, to shed light on how people are working out today. Before anything else, we must mention that our research has shown that there is still considerable room for growth in this industry.

So, let’s dive straight into it!

Fitness Industry Statistics 2020 (Editor’s Choice)

  • The total market size of the global fitness club industry is over $87 billion.
  • The world holds over 200,000 health and fitness clubs.
  • The United States, Germany, and the United Kingdom have the highest number of fitness club memberships.
  • All studies conclude that hiring a personal trainer will lead to better results on all fitness categories, regardless of user discipline.
  • 2019’s main fitness trends are fitness trackers, HIIT, group training, fitness programs for older adults, and bodyweight training (calisthenics).

Fitness Industry Market Size Facts

1. According to Statista, the market size of the fitness center industry is situated at $87.23 billion in 2019.

It is important to keep in mind that this number includes the combined value of all gyms, fitness clubs, and fitness centers worldwide (as in all the locations that provide customers with the necessary infrastructure to carry out their physical work-outs). This should help answer the common question of “how big is the fitness industry.”

Source: Statista

2. It is estimated that there are over 201,000 fitness clubs around the world.

Studies have shown that the number of fitness clubs and centers is actively growing, as we will see later on. This is mostly due to the fact that more people have expressed interest in going to the gym — hence why the number of independent neighborhood gyms has also increased, according to the gym industry statistics. It is also important to keep in mind that the 201,000 number ensures that people in all regions have access to a fitness club that is relatively in close proximity. Nevertheless, there are regions where the density of fitness centers is still somewhat sparse, allowing for numerous investment opportunities in such regions; investors ought to keep a close eye on these potential ventures.

Source: Statista

3. Fitness industry reports show that there are 174 million club members worldwide. 

Hence, we can easily tell why this market is worth billions of dollars. The number of clubs throughout the world is still increasing, making it easier for people in remote areas to work out and improve their overall physical and mental well-being. As such, despite the recent growth and sheer size of the fitness industry, most of the world’s people are not fitness club members, whereas many do not class their physical activity as a priority.

However, it is important to mention that there are several countries with large populations that lack infrastructure for sport-related activities. Even in well-developed countries, there are numerous regions with much smaller population densities, highlighting why fitness clubs are lacking here. On the other hand, according to the latest fitness industry trends, many people in developing countries cannot yet afford a fitness club membership, whereas there are numerous regions in which such clubs do not exist at all. Keep in mind that there are many people who partake in physical exercise, but would rather do so at home or in a park; they do not feel the need for a paid fitness infrastructure.

Source: Statista

Fitness Industry Growth Stats

4. From a revenue standpoint, the fitness and health industries are growing at a rate of 8.7% per year.

As such, 8.7% of extra revenue is generated on an annual basis by all global fitness facilities. This extra market growth might contribute to the long-term development of other fitness-related products and services. This doesn’t dictate that prices are getting higher — rather, more people are willing to join the fitness industry, due to health and body image concerns. After all, the benefits associated with living an active lifestyle have been analyzed and proven in a variety of scientific studies and experiments. Those with active lifestyles can expect fewer health problems, while studies indicate that a longer life-span can be achieved as well. Fitness enthusiasts can also expect mental health improvements and more energy on a daily basis.

Source: Wellness Creatives

Fitness Industry Statistics

5. A Eurostat study has concluded that 28% of Europeans exercise over 5 hours weekly. 

Unfortunately, the same percentage of Europeans fail to do any physical activity and exercise outside of work hours. Additionally, 27% of Europeans spend less than three hours working out on a weekly basis, whereas 17% exercise between three to five hours weekly. Generally, it is important to keep in mind that medical recommendations indicate that every person must exercise for at least 30 minutes on a daily basis to maintain a healthy and active lifestyle, according to body and health, and fitness industry statistics.

The same research effort has concluded that, in the EU, Romania holds the highest number of people that perform physical activity outside of working hours in a week. On the other side of the spectrum, we have Croatia, where citizens seem to be the least active. Keep in mind that keeping track of how much people exercise outside of the gym is quite difficult.

Source: Eurostat

6. In Europe, the fitness industry size (clubs) is approximated at $24 billion.

As such, we can conclude that fitness clubs are less popular when compared to the United States, which holds a higher value. Similarly, we can also conclude that the EU and the US make up more than 50% of the total value of worldwide fitness clubs.

Source: Statista

7. Germany holds the highest market revenue share of the European fitness club market.

This statistic helps illustrate that people tend to be more active in Germany as fitness club investments are among the highest recorded in the history of fitness centers! According to the recent health and wellness industry statistics, Germany is the leader in the number of high-end health and fitness clubs, where consumers can find the necessary infrastructure for a plethora of physical activities. The yearly revenue of these clubs is situated at $5.33 billion.

Source: Statista

8. There are 59,055 fitness clubs and centers throughout Europe.

Despite this fact, over 50% of Europeans are not membership holders; meaning, the industry still has a lot of spare room to grow into. However, an unknown percentage of these people actually exercise at home and take up activities such as jogging, yoga, and more. For instance, only 21.4% of people hold a gym membership in Sweden, despite having a more stimulated health and fitness market, alongside a more active population when compared to other European countries. Overall, gym membership rates across Europe are steadily increasing, while more fitness clubs and centers are actively being built.

Source: Statista

9. In the United States, the fitness club industry brings a yearly revenue of $27.6 billion.

Studies have also shown that this revenue has the potential to reach higher values, as the fitness and health club industry continues to increase in popularity. As a result, the current fitness industry market size is expected to grow steadily over the course of a few years with a constant stream of new members and gyms sprouting around the world.

Source: Statista

10. The US holds a total of 38,477 fitness clubs.

Despite having a bigger market size, the US does not have more clubs when compared to Europe as a whole. Of course, it does hold more fitness clubs and centers when compared to any other European country. In this scenario, the gap in market size is generated by the actual size of individual fitness clubs. The EU has numerous small-level and local clubs, whereas the US is home to numerous fitness corporations with massive clubs spread throughout the states, as per our fitness industry statistics.

Source: Statista

11.There are 713,000 fitness club employees in the US.

This statistic demonstrates that almost one million people are involved in the fitness club industry as employees. The actual number of people who actively work in this industry — that are not employed by a fitness club/center — is much higher.

Source: Statista

Gym Industry Statistics

12. In the US, 39% of citizens are currently registered as a gym club member. 

This statistic may seem odd to the untrained eye, as the US is well-known for struggling with obesity. Despite this fact, it seems like educational and marketing efforts have paid off, as more people than ever are willing to work on improving their health, to lose weight, gain strength or gain muscle, according to the fitness industry trends and statistics.

Source: Statista

13. 41% of US-based gym goers work out because they wish to lose weight.

As such, losing weight represents the main challenge of most gym members in the United States. The remaining percentages are focused on gaining strength, gaining muscle, staying in shape, or improving a medical condition. People of both genders exercise. Nevertheless, it is believed that the percentage of men who go to fitness clubs is much higher. Fitness demographics research has tried to link gym goals with age. Yet this has been proven difficult to confirm as the goals of each individual have little to do with their age.

14. Only 34% of US gym members are happy with the price-performance ratio offered by their gym.

Based on this statistic, it is clear that US-based gyms have to work more on improving their products and services since only 34% of people think they’re getting an end-product that’s worth the monetary investment. This negative aspect may affect the long-term fitness industry revenue potential.

Source: Statista

15. According to the 2018 IHRSA Consumer Report, the favorite fitness club activities are running, yoga, and HIIT; in this order.

As such, we can bust one of the myths surrounding the gym industry — not all members go to the gym to engage in weight training. In fact, over the last couple of years, the popularity of alternative gym activities has increased exponentially, according to data available on the health and fitness industry.

Source: IHRSA Consumer Report 2018

16. The top 3 countries by gym membership are the USA, Germany, and the United Kingdom.

This statistic is rather interesting, as it shows that the population size of a specific country plays no role in the popularity of going to the gym. As such, the IHRSA Consumer report points out that the USA holds 60.9 million gym members, followed by 10.6 million for Germany, and 9.9 million for the United Kingdom. These countries also hold some of the highest fitness industry revenue.

Source: IHRSA Consumer Report 2018

17. The popularity of personal trainers (PTs) is quickly growing in the US, with approximately 356,900 trainer jobs available.

Additionally, it is important to note that the median pay for personal trainers remains quite low in the US, as it is situated at just $19 per hour. However, it is an attractive industry, since PTs are basically paid to stay fit and teach others how to become fit. Because of this, the job outlook is highly positive as, between the years 2018 and 2028, the number of fitness trainer jobs is expected to increase by 13%. Unfortunately, it seems like the turnover rates remain high, seeing how 90% of personal trainers choose to quit within their first year, as per our fitness industry statistics.

Source: United States Department of Labour

18. The impact of leveraging a PT is clear as studies conclude that lean body mass, chest press strength, and aerobic capacity are all improved when gym-goers employ the services of a PT.

According to the Journal of Strength and Conditioning, employing a PT has numerous advantages, as all physical performance indicators are bound to be improved. For instance, for self-trained individuals, chest press strength is generally increased by a mere 19%, whereas a PT-facilitated work-out brings a 42% increase. Similarly, a PT will lead to a 7% increase in aerobic capacity, as compared to a 0.3% decrease for self-trained individuals. Therefore, we can easily conclude that better fitness results can be achieved when working with a PT, as per our fitness industry overview.

Source: Journal of Strength and Conditioning

19. 30% of fitness studios spend less than $1,000 on fitness equipment annually.

Unfortunately, many of the world’s gyms are known for spending too little on purchasing new equipment. The same study showcases that 65% of studios spend less than $5,000 on a yearly basis. It is also relevant to point out that the great majority of funds that are reinvested back into the studio are used to purchase accessories, rather than actual cardio and strength equipment.

As such, we see a decrease in the popularity of traditional gym activities like individual weight and strength training. More and more people are utilizing fitness trackers, that monitor your heart health and calories spent, to get a better idea of their in-gym performance. Additionally, calisthenics also grow in popularity, as people are once again interested in leveraging their own body weight for strength training.

At this time, numerous fitness industry trends illustrate that a larger number of older adults are hitting the gym. Hence, it makes sense why a vast number of fitness programs are designed specifically with them in mind.

HIIT-based training is known for offering quick results, despite the difficulty of the work-outs. Nevertheless, more and more people are willing to give this workout program a chance.

Last but not least, group training is trending again all across the fitness industry due to the many benefits of working in a group. For instance, individuals are less likely to skip exercises or fail to do them correctly, when working out in a disciplined group, leading to better performance and results.

Source: IHRSA Consumer Report 2018

Conclusion

Based on everything that has been outlined thus far, statistics clearly show that people all across the world are keener on exercising now more than ever. This has led to a thunderous increase in the market size of the fitness industry, as well as the overall number of gyms and fitness club members worldwide. The actual impact on the health of the worldwide population is difficult to determine, seeing how the gym trend has only become popular in developed countries. In countries that are less developed, many people have started taking up sports-related hobbies, such as playing football, baseball, tennis, or jogging, and doing yoga.

Luckily, future fitness industry growth can be further stimulated, as there are numerous development opportunities throughout Latin America, Asia, and Africa. It is believed that, in the near future, the worldwide value of the fitness market will exceed the $100 billion thresholds. This is an important consideration worth pondering over if you ever decide to open up your own fitness club. After all, in most cases, a smart investment in the health and fitness industry is bound to generate a positive ROI, as the number of people keen on exercising is actively growing.

Lastly, it is important to note that additional health and fitness education is also needed to spread more awareness of the (positive) impact regular exercise has on the body. It is also essential for NGOs, governments, and local authorities to guarantee that the whole exercise infrastructure is offered locally, outside of the paid fitness industry, to ensure that individuals with much lower income have the opportunity to exercise as well.

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