• According to industry definitions, “multipurpose” health clubs have fitness facilities and racquet courts. “Fitness-only” health clubs have fitness (group exercise and/or a fitness center with equipment), but no racquet courts. Either type of club may have a swimming pool or a gymnasium.
  • Respondents were 53% owners, 8% general managers, 20% fitness directors, 9% program directors, 0.5% personal training directors and 7% group fitness directors/coordinators. The rest had a variety of titles.

How to Read the Numbers

The percentage (%) reflects the number of survey respondents who answered yes to a given survey question. Percentages have been rounded up at 0.5 and down at 0.4. Percentages do not necessarily total 100, because of multiple or missing responses.

The mean, or average, is all of the answers added together and then divided by the number of respondents. An average can be influenced by extremely high and extremely low numbers. In some cases, the extremely high and extremely low responses were eliminated to present a more accurate number.

The median is the midpoint, meaning that half of the respondents answered above and half answered below. A median is useful because, unlike an average, it is not influenced by high and low extremes.


In February 2008, four e-mails were sent to IDEA business and program director members who gave IDEA permission to contact them. Respondents linked to a Web-based survey. There were 214 completed questionnaires from the United States and Canada, for an 8% response rate. At a 95% confidence level, the margin of error is ±5%.

Business Facts
  • 56% sell products or have a pro shop.
  • 30% charge dues plus a separate fee for some classes or programs.
  • 60% ask clients to pay for individual sessions/classes or packages of sessions/classes.
  • 37% ask clients to pay monthly dues.
  • 26% ask clients to pay annual membership dues.

This section of the article is still in the process of conversion to the web.