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How and where fitness market is growing in Europe

The fitness market in Europe (and beyond) is very healthy. This is confirmed by the 2018 edition of the annual study conducted by EuropeActive (formerly the European Health and Fitness Association - EHFA) and Deloitte.

European Health & Fitness Market Report (EHFMR) 2018  focuses on the fitness-wellness clubs of the 28 countries of the European Union, as well as those of Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine.   Fitness and wellness are not only in fashion today, but finally many are realising the importance of physical activity and sport.

Fitness market and wellness are not only fashionable today, but finally many are realizing the importance of physical activity and sport.

Gyms, tools, sites, apps, blogs, fairs and moments of aggregation proliferate. Remaining in shape is no longer just an objective and a commitment, but a passion capable of going far beyond the simple why, embracing many other areas.
Cardio activity is the basis of many modern training formats

Fitness market: the 4 growth indicators in the EuropeActive study

Despite the general economic situation and the socio-political tensions in Western countries, the numbers of fitness market are constantly increasing. In Europe, this growth can be measured by the 3.9% increase in the number of gyms registered, which is more than 60 million.
The other figures in the study also indicate an upward trend in fitness market. Among the most significant:

  1. Total revenues of fitness market in 2017 amounted to 26.6 billion Euros, with a growth of 3.8%, making Europe the most important market in the sector in the world.
  2. Of the 794 million people living in the European Union and in Norway, Russia, Switzerland, Turkey, and Ukraine, 7.5% are registered in gyms, with a 9% penetration of people over 15 years of age.
  3. The number of gyms is growing by 3.3%. The best 30 operators in the sector have increased their registrations by 9.8%; they share 23.6% of all European registrations, with a growth of 1.1%.
  4. The most important manufacturing companies in the sector have increased their revenues by 2.9% (over 3 billion Euros).

The European fitness market is driven by Germany, which has 10.61 million members (+5.3%) and about 9,000 clubs. This is followed by the UK (9.7 million), France (5.7 million), Italy (5.3 million) and Spain (5.2 million).

Wellness is now a widespread concept, even at work

What is changing in the fitness market?

The landing on the fitness market of many structured realities such as the large international chains of gyms is redefining the fundamentals of a sector that for many years has remained flattened on the same model until it inevitably ends up in crisis.

Today, many of these companies offer more flexible and modular subscription methods, allowing you to buy packages of admission and lessons that can be consumed over time and, sometimes, even exploited in gyms and in cities other than their own, meeting the new lifestyles and the increasingly widespread trend to travel.

Gymnasiums, tools, sites, apps, blogs, fairs and moments of aggregation proliferate.

There are also numerous apps to download in fitness market that give a great boost to the mechanisms of gamification, helping people to have fun and compete with others while doing sport. There are also new sites and new online services, which allow you to train at home or in parks with a professional who makes his skills available through the tools of the network.
Increasingly engaging formats are reaching targets out of the offer in the past.
Wellness and fitness market are not only in fashion today, but finally many are understanding the importance of physical activity and sport and are gearing up to make this need and this passion compatible with their commitments.

Wellness & fitness market: what's in store for us in the coming years?

The 3 trends for the future of the sector are clear. To compete, the fitness industry will have to offer:

  • a better service
  • higher quality
  • extended in time and space, as well as in the network (apps, sites)

These are the priorities that all gyms and sports clubs must pursue.

The quality of the time available to the customer is a key notion for the commercial success of a center.
In addition, the arrival of large chains of gyms is a very clear signal, which must lead small businesses to find their own way, for example by joining online circuits that allow them to maintain their independence while offering a modern service and in line with the needs of people. New lifestyles and work styles, in fact, are literally upsetting old needs and habits:

  1. Working hours are much more flexible or even non-existent;
  2. you move much more and for longer;
  3. Sport is seen as an integral part of your lifestyle, no longer as a temporary parenthesis or hobby.
Training for sportsmen, but also for newcomers, shop in shop or included in the fee in the season
What awaits us are therefore new opportunities and new forms of service, as well as new technologies, new materials, new forms of aggregation and fruition. But also the intervention of companies, which will increasingly include the practice of sport within their welfare package for employees and collaborators, expanding the range of choice and making the sector grow even more.

The growth trend of the sector will be confirmed by the analysis work of other important sector associations.

The boom in the fitness market is certified by the main sector associations

The growth of fitness market is now certified by all major industry associations. According to IHRSA (International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association), the $30 billion health and fitness industry in the United States has grown by at least 3-4% per year  in the last decade and shows no signs of slowing down in the near future.  If ever, it is accelerating. Currently, about 20% of American adults have a subscription to the fitness club, a number could easily double in the next 10 to 15 years.
L'economia sviluppata dal mercato del fitness è in crescita da anni
Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends
In addition, ACSM by the American College of Sports Medicine, in its 13th Worldwide Survey of Fitness Trends for 2019, reported 20 highlights of the most relevant fitness market trends in the commercial, clinical, community and corporate sectors for the coming year. The survey, first conducted in 2006, highlighted the decline in traditional fitness practices and the emergence of new public needs.
While the traditional fitness centre model appears to be declining, ACSM's Worldwide survey revealed four macro-categories to be growing, with at least one trend per category occupying one of the top five positions in the ranking. From the increasingly widespread of wearables in fitness to the target that seems to be increasingly oriented towards short workouts but intense (HIIT), up to the increasingly widespread mode of group training, thanks to formats such as courses and engaging classes. Equipment for physical rehab ollowing health problems or accidents are another key trend for the physical well-being and health of people.

Global Wellness Summit
The results of the Global Wellness Summit, on the occasion of the  Global Wellness Summit 2018, now in its 12th edition and held at Technogym Village, certify this growth of the sector. During the event that brought together 650 industry leaders, Nerio Alessandri, President, and Founder of Technogym, received the prestigious and significant Wellness Pioneer Award.

From 2015 to 2017, the fitness market grew by 6.4% per year, almost double the global economic growth (+3.6%). Total wellness consumption ($4.2 trillion) globally exceeds half of the total health spending ($7.3 trillion). The total wellness sector represents 5.3% of the world economy.

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