BOSTON -- The International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) says U.S. health club performance improved during the first quarter of this year compared to first quarter 2009.

The recently released IHRSA 2010 First Quarter Index surveyed 22 club companies representing 549 facilities. Total revenue, membership dues revenue and non-dues revenue of the clubs surveyed changed little in first quarter 2010 compared to first quarter 2009. Total revenue declined by 0.3 percent, membership dues had no change and non-dues revenue increased by 0.2 percent.

“Comparable performance results for the overall [First Quarter] Index signals steadily improving performance as clubs recover from the economy,” says Jay Ablondi, executive vice president of global products at IHRSA. “While the Index collectively performed consistently in the first quarter, a select group of clubs improved in key indicators, including total revenue, non-dues revenue and membership accounts.”

For that select group of clubs, total revenue increased by 4.2 percent, membership dues by 2.4 percent and non-dues revenue by 9.6 percent, according to IHRSA. Total membership accounts improved by 6.2 percent, which is typical of first quarter performance, IHRSA says.

“Leading clubs have attracted additional members, thus increasing the pool of customers to market non-dues services,” says Melissa Rodriguez, manager of IHRSA research. “With increased membership and improved cost management, clubs are positioning themselves for strong performance in 2010.”