Fitness Trends Outlined - 2003 IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey
Over the past seven years, the IDEA survey shows that Pilates classes have experienced the most growth with 65% of fitness facilities surveyed providing them in 2003 as opposed to 10% in 1997. During that same time period, the number of facilities offering stability ball classes rose from 28% to 71% while personal training (with two persons) rose from 42% to 71%. Stability balls and weighted balls were shown to be the two pieces of equipment most frequently on hand at fitness facilities.
“The growth of Pilates indicates that consumers are enthusiastic about physical activity programs that integrate body and mind. Pilates programs, and other mind/body fitness programs such as Yoga and Tai Chi Chuan, help to contribute to an overall increase in the quality of life of the participant. These programs incorporate activities that positively affect the whole person, stimulating the brain, circulatory, respiratory and muscular systems,” says Len Kravitz, PhD, Senior Exercise Physiologist for IDEA Health & Fitness Association.
“The increased interest in personal training suggests that consumers are realizing that noteworthy results in exercise come from systematic and structured fitness plans developed by qualified and experienced professionals. The personal trainer also provides positive guidance in the development of short- and long-term goals, motivational strategies and positive thinking that enhance the exercise success of their clients” Kravitz adds.
Dr Kravitz also pointed out that “growing public mindfulness of the importance of physical activity for health and longevity has led to an increased need for proper assessment of physical fitness by qualified professionals. Being able to incorporate and interpret information from a health and lifestyle evaluation, in addition to a physical fitness profile, will lead to a much more direct approach to optimal exercise prescription.evaluation, in addition to a physical fitness profile, will lead to a much more direct approach to optimal exercise prescription.
“The growth and enjoyment of stability ball programs may be directly associated with outstanding and likable educational programs developed on this piece of equipment. Stability ball exercises can be mainstreamed with ease for all fitness levels, ages and interests into multiple programs for flexibility, core conditioning, stability training and muscular fitness development,” Kravitz adds.
The participants in this survey report that 29% of their members/clients are between the ages of 35-44, 24% are between 45-54, 23% are between 18-34 and 18% are 55 or older. Their member/client retention rate after one-year is 72%.
The 2003 IDEA Fitness Programs and Equipment Survey is based on the results of a questionnaire mailed in earlier this year to a selection of IDEA Business, Program Director and Professional members. The types of facilities that participated in the study include, multi-purpose health clubs (16%), fitness-only health clubs (13%) personal training studios (13%), YMCAs/YWCAs/JCCs (10%), college/university fitness centers (8%), corporate fitness centers (8.0%), group exercise studios (5%), hospital fitness centers (5%), parks/recreation departments (4%), no facility/satellite classes (4%), and other (11%). The complete results will appear in the October 2003 issue of IDEA Fitness Manager.
PhD, a renowned exercise researcher for over twenty years, is the Senior
Exercise Physiologist for IDEA Health & Fitness Association. He currently
serves as the Associate Professor of Exercise Science and as a researcher
at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. He has written four books,
produced six exercise videos and is an international lecturer on health
and fitness topics.
IDEA is the world's leading membership organization of health and fitness professionals with more than 19,000 members in over 80 countries. Since 1982, IDEA has provided health and fitness professionals with pertinent information, educational opportunities, career development programs and industry leadership while helping them enhance the quality of life worldwide through safe, effective fitness and healthy lifestyle programs. For more information on IDEA events, publications, educational products, member services or other activities, visit the IDEA website at: www.IDEAfit.com.