In light of the new year, those aspiring to sweat it out in the gym will not be alone: private health and fitness club memberships topped 6 million in the U.K. last year, according to Mintel.
Over the last five years, private health and fitness gym memberships have increased from 5.3 million in 2014 to 6.1 million in the region throughout 2019. Total revenue for the U.K. private health and fitness club market is also estimated to have reached nearly £3.4 billion in 2019, growing a healthy 4.1% since 2018.
Mintel research reveals that health and fitness clubs are one of the fastest-growing leisure segments. In fact, some 18% of UK adults currently use a private health and fitness club, compared with 15% in 2018.
“The rise of lower-cost options and increased locations has made private gyms an accessible form of leisure, while a greater focus by consumers on healthier living and exercise is also providing a boost to the sector,” says Lauren Ryan, Mintel leisure analyst. “The competition for new customers will drive down average fees and limit revenue growth over the next five years.”
Classes are a key reason why many attend private gyms, according to Mintel. 58% of Brits say classes are the main reason they go to a health and fitness club while 64% say group classes help them put in more effort. Furthermore, 75% of consumers say the instructors play a key role in how much they like a club.
The prospect of working out on machines that haven’t been wiped down after use is among the biggest gym deterrents. 81% of Brits say they would be put off using certain clubs because of a lack of cleanliness.
“Classes are particularly important for fitness clubs, with people seeking variety and friendly instructors,” says Ryan. “The need for personal interaction and more personalized guidance provides health and fitness clubs with a strong opportunity if they can retain high-quality instructors and personal trainers.”