AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND -- A new study examines the future of the fitness industry, including the role that health clubs will play.

The study released today, titled “The Future of Fitness,” was researched and written by The Nielsen Co. and published by Les Mills International, Auckland, New Zealand. Les Mills Founder Phillip Mills says that the current model of the industry asks consumers to fit themselves around a gym-centric entity, but consumers in the future may not be as compliant.

“[Future consumers] are less likely to embrace fitness through hard work,” Mills says. “They will want fitness to be shaped around them. They will ask our industry to become more people-centric.”

Some of the shifts in the industry, according to the study, include managing health and fitness through the Internet, a personalization of services by advancing technology and the reshaping of existing categories of products and services.

The challenges the industry faces in the future, the study says, include:

1) Whether providing fitness solutions to health problems, such as diabetes, obesity or aging, will be enough to sustain the industry.

2) The impact that continued innovation in science, medicine and the digital world could have on how consumers achieve fitness.

3) The possibility that cheaper, easier “quick fixes” may render weight control and wellness promotion irrelevant.

“Smart businesses will capitalize on the changing demands of articulate consumers,” Mills says. “Our industry has the opportunity to lead the change by, for example, helping to ensure that consumers’ changing tastes are informed by knowledge and are linked to good health and wellness outcomes.”

The study can be downloaded from the Web site www.futureoffitnesswhitepaper.com. Mills also will lead a workshop session about the study at the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) show March 10 in San Diego.