Revenue generated by health clubs in the United States increased while overall club membership and usage decreased, according to 2012 figures released last week by the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA).
Health club revenue was $21.8 billion in 2012, a slight increase from the $21.4 billion generated in 2011. Health club memberships totaled 50.2 million in 2012, a 2.3 percent decrease from the 51.4 million memberships IHRSA reported in 2011. Also, 58.5 million Americans used a health club in 2012, down from 59 million in 2011.
Overall, 20.4 percent of Americans ages 6 and older were health club consumers in 2012, IHRSA reported. That's a decrease from 20.8 percent in 2011. For-profit club membership penetration (members who are 6 and older) reached 17.4 percent in 2012 after hitting an all-time high of 18.1 percent in 2011.
The total number of for-profit health clubs rose from 29,960 in 2011 to 30,500 in 2012, according to IHRSA, which used InfoUSA Inc. to provide data on the number of clubs using the industry SIC code of 7991 as listed in the Yellow Pages. IHRSA says the consolidation of clubs and the closure of weaker-performing clubs was due to the recent recession, which also allowed new clubs to open in underserved markets. IHRSA also noted a rise last year in niche or theme-oriented clubs and a continued growth of 24-hour all-access clubs.