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Published 19 October 2012 06:16, Updated 22 October 2012 05:08
Over the past five years, 24/7 facilities have seen 11 per cent average annual growth in revenue and a 13 per cent annual increase in membership. Photo: Lajos Répási
About 3.3 million people currently use fitness industry services and that number is projected to reach 7.2 million by 2020, a new report shows.
The Australian Fitness Industry Report 2012 undertaken by Deloitte Access Economics says that while recent years have been tougher for the industry than the previous decade, the fitness industry is growing and will generate $1.2 billion in revenue in 2012.
The report puts revenue growth lower than a IBISWorld report from last year that estimated the fitness industry would to grow by 2.7 per cent to reach $2.9 billion in 2012. But the IBISWorld figure takes into account the amounts consumers spend with fitness retailers (retail is not included in the Deloitte report, which only focuses on fitness service providers).
Businesses across the nation have had an average growth rate of 4 per cent a year, the Australian Fitness Industry Report shows. Fitness and new 24/7 facilities, and fitness studios, are recording even higher growth rates.
The industry is going through a period of consolidation and the growth of 24-hour no-frills fitness clubs and alternative fitness models, including personal training, outdoor group training and yoga and pilates studios, is forcing existing players to work harder to retain membership.
Over the past five years, 24/7 facilities have experienced 11 per cent average annual growth in revenue and a 13 per cent annual increase in membership. Meanwhile, fitness studios reported 12 per cent annual growth in both revenue and membership.
Gym operators are also looking at linking up with health service providers to win new business. Of those who use fitness services, about 8 per cent are being referred to medical or allied health services. And 11 per cent of users are being referred to fitness businesses by such services.
“The collaboration between the health sector and fitness industry has not reached its full potential,” says Fitness Australia chief executive Lauretta Stace.
“With more than half of adult Australians at an unhealthy weight range and the same number not undertaking sufficient physical activity to incur health benefits, it makes sense that a prescription for physical activity is needed.”
The number of fitness professionals is increasing at about 7 per cent per cent a year. The report says there are 30,000 registered exercise professionals and more than half of them are women. Almost two-thirds are aged between 22 to 39.
Most fitness businesses are small – Australian Bureau of Statistics figures show 76 per cent of fitness centres employ fewer than 20 people and only 2 per cent of centres employ more than 100 people.
The report says almost two-thirds of the businesses are part of a chain or have multiple sites. Most members or clients (90 per cent) visited their fitness centre once or twice a week, with 8 per cent visiting three times a week.
And the age of people going to the gym is increasing. About one-third of survey respondents reported a significant change in attendance across each age group, with the biggest increase (27 per cent) in 45-54 year age group.