Wondering what the future holds for careers in the fitness industry? According to a recent government report, job prospects for fitness professionals will be more favorable in the foreseeable future.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics recently updated its Occupational Outlook Handbook. It predicts that overall employment of fitness workers, which includes personal fitness trainers and group fitness instructors, will “grow faster than average” through 2010; this rate is defined as meaning an increase of 21 to 35 percent. The government attributes this rise to the increasing numbers of people who are willing and able to spend time and money on leisure and fitness activities, such as personal training and aerobics instruction. Other contributing factors include the aging of the baby boomers and a growing recognition of the health benefits of exercise among businesses and consumers of all ages.

The handbook projects that the growth in jobs will stem, in part, from rising demand for fitness activities in senior centers, retirement communities, children’s homes, halfway houses, and facilities designed for people with special needs. An online copy of the report is available at www.bls.gov/oco/ocos058.htm.