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IHRSA Releases 2017 Health Club Consumer Report

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BOSTON, MA - The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has released the 2017 Health Club Consumer Report. This annual publication, based on a nationwide sample of more than 24,000 interviews, provides demographics and health, sports and fitness participation data on America's health club consumers.

"Membership in U.S. health clubs reached an all-time high of 57.3 million in 2016, an increase of 3.6% from 2015," said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's Executive Vice President of global products. "Another 9.3 million non-members exercised at clubs. In all, 22% of Americans use a health club to pursue fitness and wellness goals."

The report confirms that health and fitness clubs are playing an increasing role in helping consumers get active, lead healthier lives, and pursue fitness and sport goals. "Although inactivity rates are disappointing among older generations, the IHRSA Health Club Consumer Report shows that nearly one out of four health club members are 55 and older and membership among Boomers and the Silent Generation (typically born between 1925-42) has increased by 5% since 2012," said Melissa Rodriguez, IHRSA's Senior Research Manager. "The report provides insights and applications on how clubs can engage older generations as well as other segments. For example, club operators who aim to target older generations should not only offer relevant exercise programs but also provide stellar in-person customer service and foster ongoing interactions with club staff."

Opportunities also prevail to attract the youth market, which in 2016, had higher participation rates in studios than in previous years. Managers of full-service clubs, like multipurpose and fitness-only facilities, may be uniquely positioned to provide offerings that complement youth activity and athletic goals.

Although one out of five Americans utilizes a health club, opportunities remain for club operators to help increase activity among sedentary Americans. According to Physical Activity Council research, more than one out of five Americans (27%) do not engage in any sport or physical activity.

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