Australians happy with gym memberships

This article is an excerpt from Australasian Leisure Management 2009 July edition

Australians are very happy with their gym memberships, with 2009 Australian Fitness Industry Survey (AFIS) showing that 60% of members are either satisfied or very satisfied with their gym. The just released survey also showed that 10% of members said that the cost of the membership was not as important as the benefits they received while 39% of respondents said clubs were in general value for money.

Now in its second year, AFIS developed, conducted and published by leading direct debit service provider Ezypay, provides accurate data on the fitness club industry not only from the owners and managers of clubs but also from their members.

This year the club members also had their say and they did so in their thousands. The response was huge with 7,000 members completing the survey and over 2,000 members taking the time to make individual comments about their thoughts, feelings and perceptions of their gym. The members were questioned on the reasons for joining, staying and leaving, what they do when they visit and how often, what they think of their gyms website and their perception of the fitness industry.

The general profile of a gym member is: 64% are female, 31% of members are aged between 26 and 35 years, staying on average for up to 12 months and visiting between two and three times a week. During a general visit to the gym most do a cardio and weights workouts (67%), 34% do group fitness class while 17% employ the services of a personal training (17%).

The survey showed that members initially have aspirations of more visits than they actually achieve and to stay longer than they actually do. 74% of members reported that they intended to stay for more than 12 months while 68% said they would workout more than three times a week.

However, 60% of respondents had been a member for 12 month or less. The survey reported that the local fitness club market is very competitive with 20% of clubs having 10 or more local competitors within a 10 minute drive time. In such a competitive market looking after members from the day they join is so important the members reiterate this point with 51% of members saying they reached their goals due to advice given by the club as opposed to having to pay for personal training.

Further results from the survey will be published in the July/August 2009 issue of Australasian Leisure Management.

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2009 AFIS reveals happy gym memberships


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