Is America Getting Fitter?
The USA seems to be fighting back against poor health reports with record gym membership numbers. Based on a study in the 2017 Physical Activity Council Participation Report, results show that the number of individual members totalled 57.3m last year, up 3.6 per cent from 55.3m in 2015, with over 66m Americans using a gym in 2016.
Nearly 20% of all Americans are now gym members visiting one of the 36,540 nationwide health clubs an average of 106 times last year.
Joe Moore, president and chief executive officer of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA), said: “Consumers continue to rely on health clubs as the primary outlet for physical activity and health goals. Increased participation in fitness activities helped fuel growth in memberships and utilisation as total club visits surpassed 5 billion for the fifth consecutive year.”
Of course, the health and fitness industry is big business and in 2016, the US health club industry revenue increased to US$27.6billion (£21.5bn, €25.6bn), up from US$25.8bn (£20.1bn, €24bn) in 2015, a rise of 7.2 per cent.
Running figures are notoriously hard to obtain and amount to no more than an educated guess based on running shoes sold, race numbers, amount of races etc. This is because of the beautiful simplicity of running; for example, many will run straight from their front door without interacting with the local running scene at all. However, the gym numbers are a good indicator that Americans are getting themselves in shape and that’s great news for any nation.
Are we going to see another running boom…? Now there’s a lovely thought.