RICHMOND, VA -- In spite of a lagging economy, the medical fitness industry continues to grow steadily, according to survey results and analysis included in the “Benchmarks for Success 2010, Eighth Edition.”

Newly published by the Medical Fitness Association (MFA), the report identifies nearly 1,100 medical fitness and wellness centers in the United States, Canada and internationally. The industry has experienced continued growth at a rate of approximately 6 percent per year since 2003. The growth in the number of centers is coupled with an increase in the number of individuals being served by medical fitness facilities. The most recent report estimates more than 3.3 million members. This number is expected to reach more than 4 million by 2015.

“Benchmarks for Success 2010” is designed for medical fitness and rehabilitation professionals, health care business development executives, medical practitioners and others in the fields of fitness, wellness and lifestyle management. It provides an overview of the state of the industry, serves as a starting point for benchmarking for medical fitness facilities and can help guide the development of medical fitness center projects and collaborations, according to MFA.

“With the advent of health care reform, the international launch of ACSM’s Exercise Is Medicine initiative and the continued escalation of chronic health conditions in America, the need for the expertise and services provided by medically integrated centers are greater than ever before,” Brad Roy, chairman of the Medical Fitness Association, said in a press release. “The Medical Fitness Association is committed to assisting medically integrated health and fitness facilities in reaching out and improving the health and well-being of the communities they serve. Publications such as ‘Benchmarks for Success 2010’ are key tools that are available to facilities striving to raise the bar on the quality of services provided.”