The British fitness industry is booming. One in seven of us have a gym membership, and it seems, a certain spend-savvy when it comes to where we work out. Memberships at low cost gyms have risen by 450 per cent since 2012 and now make up almost 35 per cent of all gym memberships in the private sector.
Not only are we increasing in membership numbers, we’re also hitting the gym more than we used to. According to a study by low-cost fitness company The Gym Group, the number of gym-goers that visit more than once a week has risen by over 20 per cent in the last five years.
Why? The Gym Group’s study reveals that weight loss remains the main reason that 40 per cent of their members joined. Back in February, Virgin Active revealed that 58% of Brits stated that looking good was their main motivation for heading to the gym. Though there has also been an increase by nearly 30% over the last year in people joining because it “improves their quality of life”.
These findings reflect the latest trends for clean-living. We eat more healthily, we get more fresh air and we’re working harder to perfect the work/life balance.
The increase in pocket-friendly gyms allows us to maintain these healthy new lifestyles, which perhaps before, not all of us were able to afford. Not only price-wise, but time-wise, as until the recent emergence of 24 hour gyms, we were restricted to fitting in our gym-time before the doors closed.
9.7 million people in the UK now have a gym membership, bringing the total market value to £4.7 billion, (up 6.3 per cent from last year). Low-cost health clubs (with memberships under £20 a month) account for 15% of the market and over 30% of total membership. The biggest chain, PureGym, now has more than 800,000 members at 172 gyms. And, with over 80 per cent of us now living within two miles of a gym, there’s nothing stopping us from getting our regular regime done, on our own schedules.
At the other end of the market, membership at London’s luxury gyms can cost £205 a month (plus a £400 joining fee). Luxury health clubs will continue to grow too, as newbies develop into gym regulars and treat themselves to an upgrade over time.
Though for now, it’s great to see so many of us getting up and getting active. Great news for personal trainers too, looking to develop their client base with a whole host of new faces on the gym floor…
*(Study by The Gym Group)