IHRSA European Congress, London

David presented at the IHRSA European Congress on Wednesday. His presentation looked at the state of the European fitness markets, particularly within the UK. He also led a tour group around 3 Central London clubs; Third Space Soho, EasyGym Oxford Street and the Oasis Sports Centre, Covent Garden. 

Here are some infographics used in his presentation...

Fitness Industry in Tokyo, Japan

David visited Tokyo last week to attend a number of Japanese fitness industry events.

He met with the President of Sasakawa Sports Foundation for the release of their white paper on "Sport in Japan 2017". He presented to the Fitness Industry Association of Japan and the Waseda University. 

He also visited a number of health clubs. boutique studios and gyms including Aqua Sports & Spa, Deportare Club, R-Fitness, B-Monster Boxing and Anytime Fitness. 

Japan & IHRSA 2017

David will be presenting his thoughts on the UK Fitness Industry in Tokyo, Japan this week. On his return to London, David will be speaking at the opening of the 2017 IHRSA European Congress. 

 
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His agenda is as follows:

 

IHRSA Opening Keynote - The State of the UK Fitness Market lead by David Minton...

The UK is unique in auditing the fitness industry in granular detail each year. The Leisure Database Company has developed a consistent methodology for the industry and built a database now used by operators, suppliers and financiers to the industry. You will receive highlights from the annual State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, which includes trend analysis, growth in number of gyms, members, value of the industry and the penetration rate, which reached 14.9% in 2017. David believes the UK is beginning the golden age of fitness and will share his projections of growth leading to 2020.

Manpo-kei

The Tokyo Olympics in 1964 made history by being the first to be telecast internationally and popular sports, including judo and sumo wrestling, were broadcast in colour. Public interest in the Games also created a lasting legacy which organisations around the world have adopted and keep adopting today.

To paraphrase Neil Armstrong on the Apollo 11 moon landing, that’s 10,000 steps for mankind and one giant step for a healthier society.

Published findings found that the average Japanese person took between 3,500 to 5,000 steps per day. A Japanese research team lead by Dr Yoshiro Hatano capitalised on these findings and the nations interest in sports. The team recognised that if this could be increased to 10,000 steps a day, people would become healthier. And so, Dr Hatano began selling a 10,000-step pedometer known as ‘manpo-kei’ (10,000 step meter) and this arbitrary number quickly grew into the ideal daily number to aim for. Japan’s Ministry of Health still recommends a daily walk of 8,000 to 10,000 steps.

Fifty years later the UK National Obesity Forum, which says the average Briton walks about 3,000 -4,000 steps a day, suggests we should aim for between 7,000 and 10,000. The National Health Service (NHS) is promoting “Walking for Health” as it is simple, free and one of the easiest ways to get more active, lose weight and become healthier. In London, the NHS is working with Transport for London (TfL) to encourage walking as part of your journey to work, walking to the shops, using the stairs instead of the lift, leaving the car behind for short journeys. Both organisations are encouraging people to use apps to track how much and how fast you’ve walked. TfL have produced maps showing walking times between stations to encourage a variety of walks including parks, trails, towpaths and nature reserves. My local favourite is from Paddington, which is Zone One to Warwick Avenue, one stop on the Bakerloo Line but in Zone 2. The walk goes along the canal, past the Robert Browning Island in Little Venice, where the Regent’s canal and Grand Union Canal meet. You save money and have a car free walk.

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Promotion of walking groups and inspiring walks are growing in popularity along with the more established Ramblers organisation, Britain’s walking charity also promoting walking for health. The UKs National Parks run free guided walks for the whole family during holidays. Walkit, Active 10, Hikideas are just a few of the apps you can download that can suggest routes, journey time, calorie burn, step count and carbon saving.

The technology for a pedometer has changed over the past 50 years with the so called wearable market growing from nothing in the mid-sixties to an estimated $26 billion by 2019 and an estimated 245 million wearable devices being sold next year. Smart watches are now the most valuable segment, taking 60% of market value but fitness trackers remain most popular, accounting for more than half of all wearable shipments in 2016. Smart phones and watches have been tracking our every move and that data usually goes into an app so you can see the results. Most of the apps also allow you to load workout data from other activities and wearables into your phone activity app so it’s all in one place. The iPhone 5 was the first phone to contain a motion coprocessor, developed by the UK’s most successful technology company ARM Technologies, based in Cambridge, recently sold to Japanese SoftBank for £24 billion. ARM technology is used in over 90% of all smart phones worldwide. With the release of the iPhone 6 Apple Health was introduced to present activity data back to its owner via an app on every Apple phone.

Most governments’ guidelines and health agencies plus organisations such as the World Health Organisation (WHO), US Centre for Disease Control (CDC), US Surgeon General, American Heat Foundation, US Department of Health and Human Services recommend daily activity of 10,000 steps. A study published in the Journal of The American Medical Association concluded that use of a pedometer (or a tracking device) is associated with significant increase in physical activity and decreases in body mass index and blood pressure.

At Tokyo 2020 we will all be busy urban adventurers and 10,000 steps a day will be easily completed going from one event to another. It will be a fitting tribute to Dr Hatano that so many people will be doing 10,000 steps in his city 50 plus years after he invented the basic metric to good health.

By David Minton, Director of LeisureDB & Correspondent for SSF in London

Original Article: Sasakawa Sports Foundation

October: Gym Owner Monthly

Public Sector

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that 1 in every 20 people are members of a public gym. The public sector has over 2,700 gyms across the UK and Greenwich Leisure Limited (GLL) is the top operator. For the first time in five years, the public sector has seen a slight decline in membership numbers. Is this due to a combination of operating budgets being reduced and the impact of the private low cost market?

 
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Original Source: Gym Owner Monthly

September: Gym Owner Monthly

2018 Milestones

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report revealed that the UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow. David Minton, Director of LeisureDB said: “It may be premature to call the period to 2020 “the golden age of fitness” but further growth will only be limited to the imagination of those pushing the boundaries. The signs are there that the industry is likely to hit several milestones in 2018. The number of gyms is on course to go over 7,000 for the first time, total membership to exceed 10 million and market value to reach £5 billion”.

 
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Original Source: Gym Owner Monthly

The English Season

There is no better time to watch sport in England than the summer months. The unique collection of sporting events is known as the ‘season’ and runs from May to August each year. Many of these sporting/social events evolved in the 17th and 18th centuries by the landowning aristocratic and gentry families to affirm their privilege and social superiority. The social elite lived, for the most part, on their country estates but spent the summer in London to socialise, play and watch sport. It was also an opportunity to mix with royalty, as most events had, and still has, royal patronage.


The Sports season remains heavily biased towards equestrianism. Royal Ascot, founded in 1711 by Queen Anne, is still owned by the Crown Estate. The Queen arrives each day during Ascot Week, with members of the Royal Family, along the track in horse drawn landaus. Fashion is a huge part of Ascot culture, particularly the impressive and over-the-top hats worn by the ladies.

 
 

The Derby is the richest horse race in Britain and the most prestigious of the five classics and was first run in 1780. The Epsom Downs Racecourse in Surrey brings rich and poor together and to this day crowds need not pay a penny to watch the race and all can enjoy the race and funfair from the Downs. This famous flat horse race, over a distance of one mile, four furlongs and 6 yards (2,420 metres) is on the first Saturday of June each year. It has inspired many similar events around the world including the Tokyo Yushun.


The Grand National first ran in 1839 over the National Course which includes 16 fences, at Aintree Racecourse near Liverpool. It is now estimated that up to 600 million people in over 140 countries, including Japan, watch this most valuable jump race in Europe.


Tennis started at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (AELTC), home to Wimbledon, in 1877 and it’s estimated that over 1 billion people watch Wimbledon worldwide. There’s only 375 Full Members of AELTC which is based on the number of seats in the original stand. Around 70 honorary memberships are held by past singles championship winners.

 
 

The world’s first multipurpose sports complex to be built in 1886 was The Queens Club in Hammersmith. It still has 27 outdoor lawn tennis courts, 2 Real Tennis courts and organises one of the pre-Wimbledon competitions each June.


The Lords Test Match takes place at the Marylebone Cricket Club (MCC) which was founded in 1787. There are 18,000 full members and 5,000 associate members of the MCC who collectively own the ground and the Ashes. The term ‘ashes’ was first used after England lost to Australia on home soil in 1882. The MCC members wear the famous red and gold striped jacket and tie, affectionately referred to as ‘egg and bacon.’ The waiting list to become a full MCC member is 27 years.


The Boat Race, on the River Thames, between Oxford and Cambridge Universities, began in 1829 and takes place each year with an estimated 250,000 spectators watching from the riverside and bridges. The spirit of competition is so strong between the teams that Olympic standard rowers often compete. Sir Mathew Pinsent, who rowed for Oxford in 1990, ’91 and ’93 went on to win 10 world championship gold medals and four Olympic gold medals.


Outside London on the Isle of Wight, Cowes Week which began in 1826 and is run by one of the most prestigious and exclusive yacht clubs in the world. The Royal Yacht Squadron which was started in 1815 by 42 original members who agreed to meet every three months for dinner. 200 year’s later membership has grown to just 450, there’s no waiting list, you wait to be invited. 1,000 boats in up to forty different handicap multihull classes race every day for eight days. It’s the mixture of classic, including several boats that raced more than 50 years ago, plus ultra-modern designs, that gives the regatta its uniqueness. Around a third, of the 8,000 competitors, are women and the range is from Olympic and world class to weekend sailors. Traditional seafaring members can also be found at the Royal Thames Yacht Club, founded in 1775 it is the oldest continuously operating yacht club in the world with its prestigious club house in Knightsbridge overlooking Hyde Park.


The most colourful water event is Henley Royal Regatta, the undisputed home of British Rowing and rich pageantry. First held in 1839. Rowing crews and former oarsmen wear handmade blazers in the colours, stripes and monogram of their team all topped off with a straw boater for men and a silk item for ladies. There’s a ten year wait to become a full member.

 
 

Dress codes apply to all events, particularly where the Queen plays an official role and if you have access to the Royal Enclosures, Member Areas, or Stewards Enclosure. At Royal Ascot, (pronounced Ascut), in the Royal Enclosure, gentlemen are required to wear either black or grey morning dress including a waistcoat with top hat. At Henley in the Steward’s Enclosure gentlemen must wear a jacket and tie and rowing club colours on a blazer or cap are de rigueur. Besides the dress code most events also insist on enamel style lapel badges and tags to comply with the traditional expectations of an Edwardian period garden party.


Between the sports wider arts and horticulture events began including; the Proms at the Royal Albert Hall in 1895, the Chelsea Flower Show, organised by the Royal Horticultural Society in 1804 and the Royal Academy Summer Exhibition, 1768. The Trooping of the Colour, one of the oldest seasonal events began in 1748. Many newer events have become firm favourites of the ‘season’ including opera in the country, like Glyndebourne and in London at Holland Park, Kensington. Polo on Smiths Lawn, Windsor, home to the Guards Polo Club the largest in Europe in terms of members and grounds. Badminton Horse Trials started in 1949 against the backdrop of the Dukedom that was created in 1682 and the 17th century Badminton House. The Royal Windsor Horse Show, first started in 1943 is now the only show in the UK to host international competition in show jumping, dressage, carriage driving, endurance and showing.

This year the ‘season’ has also had a sell-out exhibition at the British Museum, Hokusai, Beyond the Great Wave. Katsushika Hokusai (1760-1849 is one of Japan’s most famous artists and this exhibition takes you on a journey through the last 30 years of Hokusai’s life. A time when many of the English ‘season’ events were just starting.


David Minton
For SSF - July 2017

August: Gym Owner Monthly

The private low cost market

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that the UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow. This growth is being primarily driven from the private sector, which has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before.

The low cost market has continued to be the main driving force behind the private sector growth. There are now over 500 low cost clubs which account for 15% of the market value and 35% of membership in the private sector. The UK’s leading low cost operator is Pure Gym with over 180 gyms.

 
 

Original Source: Gym Owner Monthly

July: Health Club Management

World of Fitness

In the July Issue of Health Club Management, the IHRSA 2017 Global Report findings were published including statistics from the LeisureDB 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report...

 
 

"In the UK, based on research by LeisureDB, 9.7 million people belong to a private corporate health club, up from 9.3 million a year ago. Approximately 6,728 facilities in the UK generate a collective US$6.1 billion in industry revenue. Germany attracts more than 10 million members to 8,600 facilities and generates US$5.6 billion in revenue."

Original Source: Health Club Management

** The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report can be downloaded via the link **

You And Yours - BBC Radio 4

David spoke with Samantha Fenwick, a reporter for 'You and Yours' (BBC Radio 4 programme) about the UK fitness industry. The number of gym memberships are increasing every year and David says that "group fitness is driving the industry growth as classes are no longer held in boring studios...operators are making gym experiences more enjoyable". Les Mills UK and Sport England commented on the increase in group exercise participation and how technology, such as virtual reality, will change group fitness forever. 

Listen to the full clip here: http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b08x4rf3

July: Gym Owner Monthly

Focus on London...

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that there are now 6,728 fitness facilities in the UK with 12% of the sites being in London.

London alone has a staggering 1.7 million fitness members, that’s 1 in every 5 people in London being a member of a gym compared to 1 in every 7 within the UK.

The fitness industry within London has a market value of £1.14 billion (24% of the overall UK market value) and a penetration rate of 20%.

 
 

Original Source: Gym Owner Monthly

Flame2017

Wednesday was the annual #Flame2017 event run by UKActive & what a brilliant event it was. The day was spent attending a varied range of talks hosted by Olympic athletes to tech experts and the night was a fun-filled evening of awards, dancing & gin. 

The event kicked off with a thought provoking talk by Steven Ward, CEO of UKActive as he discussed the growing importance of promoting physical activity within the UK. Followed by Dave Wright, CEO of Myzone, who recently launched free virtual classes and a chat feature for trainers. 

Two keynote speakers then took over the stage - Jonathan MacDonald, the founder of Thought Expansion Network followed by Luis Huete, a business school professor & author. 

For the breakout sessions we attended two talks. The first by professional skipper, Alex Phillips who has spent an astounding 17 years at sea and travelled over 150,000 miles on the water. Back in 2000 she managed the yacht "Quadstone" in the BT Global Challenge, also known as "The World's Toughest Yacht Race". The race involves navigating a 70ft steel yacht 29,000 nautical miles around the world starting in Portsmouth and heading West to East.  

The afternoon keynote speaker was none other than track cyclist Jason Kenny, team GB's 6 Olympic Gold medal holder. Kenny and Tanni Grey-Thompson discussed what its like to be a world class athlete and of Kenny's experiences at the Beijing, London and Rio Olympics. A fantastic talk with fascinating insight into the world of professional sport!

The final breakout session of the day was with Professor Andy Miah, a futurist and lover of all things tech. Miah discussed technology trends, the future of sport and fitness and possibility of augmented reality gyms. Miah stated that the "crucial tech parameters of physical activity are mixed reality, mobile health and gamification". The future of sport and fitness is developing through a wide range of tech such as health based mobile apps, esports, wearables, artificial intelligence and ingestible sensors. What sort of possibilities could technology bring to the industry? Why isn't sport made more immersive with the use of technology? An example by Miah was the possibility of projecting the Olympic swimming races live onto pools so spectators could watch and feel part of the experience. And finally, what will it take to create an augmented reality gym? Play. Compete. Develop. Exercise. Research. 

The evening was brilliant and team LeisureDB smashed their daily step count by dancing into the early hours of Thursday morning. Sat with the wonderful (& nominated) Jubilee Hall Trust team during the awards ceremony...Congratulations to all of the award winners and runners up! A huge thank you to UKActive for another fantastic Flame event. See you next year! 

June: Gym Owner Monthly

Gym Owner Monthly's June issue was published today and stats from our 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry report have been featured on pg.11 ...

 

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry report highlights that the UK fitness industry is continuing to grow, with increases of 4.6% in the number of fitness facilities, 5.1% in the number of members and 6.3% in market value.

There are now over 9.7 million fitness members in the UK which has boosted the penetration rate to an all-time high of 14.9%.

David Minton, Director of LeisureDB says: “It may be premature to call the period to 2020 “the golden age of fitness” but further growth will only be limited to the imagination of those pushing the boundaries”.

June: Health Club Management

A golden age for the health club industry

The latest numbers from The Leisure Database Company show the market is growing strongly and anticipating a golden age between now and 2020. David Minton reports...

The number of gyms and members, the market value of the sector and penetration rates for memberships are the key metrics detailed in the 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report published by LeisureDB and they all show the UK fitness industry to be in rude health.

There are now over 9.7m fitness members (an increase of 5.1 per cent from 2016), which has boosted the penetration rate to an all-time high of 14.9 per cent, compared to 14.3 per cent 12 months ago. The market value has continued to grow and is now estimated to be £4.7bn, a 6.3 per cent increase. Now, in the UK, 1 in every 7 people are members of a gym – the most ever.

Budget success
The low-cost market has continued to be the main driving force of the industry. With over 500 sites, they now account for 15 per cent of the market value and an impressive 35 per cent of membership across the private sector.

Some trusts, management contractors and in-house operators across the public sector are also operating low-cost gyms and many of the low-cost brands have discovered that the strength of the market in some areas enables them to raise and move into the mid-market.

Fitness brands, with transparency of pricing and offering, are continuing to grow and by utilising good social media practices and constantly listening and responding to their customers, they are meeting and exceeding their needs.

Investment
However, they are not alone in pushing the boundaries and experimenting with innovation. Both the private mid-market operators and many public sector sites are also investing and expanding their market. Franchise brands have also had their best year to date and some top end brands are quoted as having more members now than ever before.

For the first time in five years, the public sector saw a small decline in membership numbers after closing more sites than it opened for the second year running. With almost 50 per cent of public sites still to go out to tender, the trusts and contract management companies have an opportunity to turn this decline back to growth in 2018 and beyond.

The trend data shows how the industry has grown over the last five years and in 2017 the industry now offers the widest possible choice of fitness options. New technology and innovation feeds into the existing industry at all levels and could in-part be responsible for helping expand the market.

Diversification
Location search, live timetables and deeper booking integration will be commonplace very shortly through search engines, social media platforms and apps. Online class bookings, currently available across 41 per cent of the private sector and 61 per cent of the public, shows good levels of adoption, even if some of the interfaces are still clunky to use for the more tech-savvy consumers.

Meanwhile new fitness experiences, via travel companies, community groups and highly curated events, are often reliant on the consumer having higher levels of fitness to take part.

Boutiques and the growing fitness-for-free sector are all anecdotally helping expand the market, and opportunities at activewear shops, park gyms and meet-ups via apps all seem to be feeding into the core fitness industry.

The consumer brings greater expectation for a better and more connected experience, and despite the current political and fiscal uncertainties, the report remains very positive about the future. It may be a little premature to call the period between 2017 and 2020 the “golden age of fitness” but the industry is likely to reach some key milestones in 2018, including the number of fitness sites surpassing 7,000 for the first time, total membership exceeding 10m, market value totalling £5bn and the penetration rate easily surpassing 15 per cent of the total population. Obviously, the devil is in the detail and the detail is exactly what’s is in this report.

Details from www.leisuredb.com/publications

Original HCM article here

2017 STATE OF THE UK SWIMMING INDUSTRY REPORT - OUT TODAY

 
 

1st June 2017

The 2017 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report reveals that the number of pools has continued to decline slightly over the last 12 months. The number of swimming pool sites has dropped by 0.5%. For the fifth year in a row, more swimming pool sites have closed than opened.

 

The UK’s leading operator (by number of sites) is public leisure trust GLL, with 122 swimming centres. They are followed by Nuffield Health in the private sector who have 110 clubs with a swimming pool.

 

The 2017 report highlights that 84% of the UK population live within 2 miles of one of the 3,158 swimming pool sites.

 

Commenting on the figures, David Minton, Director of LeisureDB said: “Despite another slight decline in overall swimming pool numbers, technology and water that have previously caused a few issues for innovators are finally beginning to come together. New ideas and products to encourage swimming participation are emerging and it will be interesting to see how these developments impact the UK swimming pool market over the next 12 months”.

Summary of Key Facts

  • There are now 3,158 swimming sites in the UK, down from 3,173 last year.
  • 34 new public and private swimming pool sites opened, down from 40 in 2016.
  • Public pay and play fees have increased by 3% over the last 12 months.

 

Notes

The State of the UK Swimming Industry Report is compiled from the most comprehensive review of the UK swimming industry, involving individual contact with all sites. The reporting period is the 12 months to 31st March 2017. The audit and resulting figures are compiled by independent leisure market analysts, LeisureDB, who have been monitoring the performance of the fitness and swimming industry for over 30 years. Further details of the report can be found here 2017 State of the UK Swimming Industry Report.

The 2017 IHRSA Global Report

The 2017 IHRSA Global Report was published today and it shows that the global health club industry continues to grow. In 2016, the industry revenue totalled $83.1 billion, as 162.1 million members visited 201,000 clubs. 

LeisureDB's 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry report findings were featured in the report:

Europe
In spite of a weakening Euro and challenges in the political landscape, the fitness industry in Europe continues its robust performance. The European health club market serves more than 56 million members as nearly 55,000 health clubs generate $29 billion in revenue. The UK and Germany continue to lead all markets in Europe. In the UK, based on research by LeisureDB, 9.7 million members belong to a health club, up from 9.3 million a year ago. Approximately 6,728 facilities in the UK generate a collective $6.1 billion in industry revenue. Germany attracts more than 10 million members to 8,600 facilities and generates $5.6 billion in revenue.

The 2017 IHRSA Global Report can be purchased here

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report can be purchased here

 

Elevate 2017 - Kin Wellness

It’s set to be a high-energy Elevate 2017, here at London ExCel. Loads of innovative companies are exhibiting what’s new in the fitness industry, and leaders are here to talk current trends and future predictions.

The Business of Physical Activity

CEO of Kin Wellness, Anna Gudmundson, appeared on a panel this morning to talk about the business of physical activity, and the lively debate did not disappoint! David Minton of LeisureDB kicked it all off by setting the scene with an overview of disruption in the food and transport industry, as examples. (Good news, if AI continues to advance at the current pace, we might all have more time to spend at the gym?)

There is room for innovation and growth in any part of the industry, whether apps, trackers, gyms, clubs or the workplace. David also looked at how aggregators are gaining ground - after all, everything else is on demand, so why not fitness? The logical next step is how the fitness industry will be innovating to become disruptors themselves, especially in the current landscape of great social need and a growing health crisis.

Setting the Scene

This is something we are extremely excited about here at Kin, as we believe that corporate wellness will have a big part to play in the efforts to cope with our overburdened healthcare systems and improve our quality of life. Anna ran through our drivers and opportunities during the panel: with the NHS running up an unprecedented debt of nearly £2.5 billion, the fact that 88% of health issues on the radar are caused by lifestyle doesn’t just represent a crisis, but also great opportunity to help. We spend over 50% of our waking hours at work, so it is the perfect setting for addressing wellness.

Lifestyle and Experiences are Key

Michelle Dand of David Lloyd Leisure was the first to voice one of the main themes of the panel discussion - that experiences and value were increasingly central to their customers’ needs. Everyone is broadening their expectations of what a lifestyle brand could bring to them, Michelle observed, “we are not just four walls.” David Lloyd leverages partnerships to enrich their services offering. It was interesting to hear that so many of their clients take advantage of virtual gym sessions to accommodate their lifestyle needs.

Mat Bell of Tough Mudder agreed that experiences are the new luxury good, and that people are investing in travel, music festivals or challenge events instead of, for instance, a new car. Interestingly, he noted that social media and digital might bring everyone together before and after an event, but that during the challenge, everyone is focused on the human connections they make while their phone is safely away from the mud and the action. We also discovered that companies were taking advantage of Tough Mudder for team building.

What Makes a True Believer?

Passionately underpinning the human connection, Brian Schuring attested that people walk out of Heartcore completely connected with the brand because they are proud of themselves and are emerging from an authentic human experience. And that pride is what makes real people the best influencers; not necessarily the number of Instagram followers. The loyalty generated is a direct result of their emotional connection: engage them and leave them with a sense of empowerment. That is your fitness business, however you present fitness to the market.

Timing is Everything

At the helm of many businesses, such as Dryrobe and Scentered, Lara Morgan was overwhelmingly committed to health and life balance, but also to the value of our time. She pointed out that we are getting so intelligent about who the consumer is, and what the speed of life for them is during any given point in time, that we are headed for a lot of human-led change. She also made some compelling points that health is not taught enough at a young age, so we are playing catch-up and educating each other as adults how to look after ourselves.

Questions Answered Here...

During Q&A, the audience covered a lot of ground and gave the panelists a chance to circle back to talk about about how tech is affecting fitness, the role of private and public investment in the fitness and wellbeing industry, the rise of mental health awareness and more.

Anna quoted Sir Muir Gray’s bold recommendation that the NHS shift £100 million from drugs to physical activity as a shift in public perception. Everyone agreed that private investment and private innovation can drive public sector change, and David thinks the public sector growth is still to come. As always, it was exciting to hear from Lara and others that CEO’s everywhere are discovering that business performance demands a need to invest in wellness.

The business case for investing in employee wellbeing is a solid one, but aside from financial indicators, progress in this industry means happier and healthier people. To repeat Brian’s statement, engaging and empowering people is the mission of everyone bringing wellness and fitness to the market.

By Michelle Laven, www.KinWellness.com

We've been quoted!

Following the release of the 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry report we're pleased to announce our stats have been quoted across the media!

The Guardian - "The budget gym boom: how low-cost clubs are driving up membership"

The Times - "It's Life, Gym"

The Times - "Budget gyms are flexing their muscles"

Leisure Opportunities/Health Club Management - "Private sector drives UK fitness industry growth"

Fitness News Europe - "Public sector dip in buoyant UK market"

2017 STATE OF THE UK FITNESS INDUSTRY REPORT - OUT TODAY

 
2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report
 

8th May 2017

The 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report reveals that the UK health and fitness industry is continuing to grow. This growth is being primarily driven from the private sector, which has more clubs, more members and a greater market value than ever before.

There are now over 9.7 million fitness members in the UK which has boosted the penetration rate to an all-time high of 14.9%. 1 in every 7 people in the UK is a member of a gym.

The 2017 report highlights that the industry has experienced another year of impressive growth over the twelve month period to the end of March 2017, with increases of 4.6% in the number of fitness facilities, 5.1% in the number of members and 6.3% in market value. But the devil is in the detail as clear variations are seen between the performance of the public and private sectors in the key metrics over the last 12 months.

The low cost market has continued to be the main driving force behind the private sector growth over the last 12 months. There are now over 500 low cost clubs which account for 15% of the market value and an impressive 35% of membership in the private sector.

The UK’s leading operators, in both the public and the private sectors (by number of clubs and members), remain the same as last year: Pure Gym and GLL, with 176 and 167 gyms, respectively. Will either break the 200 mark over the next 12 months?

Commentating on the figures, David Minton, Director of LeisureDB said: “It may be premature to call the period to 2020 “the golden age of fitness” but further growth will only be limited to the imagination of those pushing the boundaries. The signs are there that the industry is likely to hit several milestones in the next 12 months. The number of gyms is on course to go over 7,000 for the first time, total membership to exceed 10 million, market value to reach £5 billion and the penetration rate should easily surpass 15%”.

Summary of Key Facts

  • There are now 6,728 fitness facilities in the UK, up from 6,435 last year.
  • Total industry membership is up 5.1% to 9.7 million.
  • Total market value is estimated at £4.7 billion, up 6.3% on 2016.
  • The UK penetration rate is 14.9%, compared to 14.3% in the previous year.
  • 272 new public and private fitness facilities have opened in the last 12 months, up from 224 in 2016.

Notes

The State of the UK Fitness Industry Report is compiled from the most comprehensive review of the UK fitness industry, involving individual contact with all sites. The reporting period is the 12 months to 31st March 2017. The audit and resulting figures are compiled by independent leisure market analysts, LeisureDB, who have been monitoring the performance of the fitness industry for over 30 years. Further details of the report can be found here 2017 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report.