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Health consciousness and flexible offers driving growth of UK fitness sector

Increased consumer awareness of the benefits of exercise, flexible offers at gyms and advances in wellness technology are driving strong growth in the UK's fitness industry, according to a new report.

The 2018 Insights Report and Wellness Index, compiled by wellness platform Mindbody, also identified an increased corporate interest in wellness as contributing to the growth.

The report analysed data from 70,000 UK businesses and more than 2,000 UK consumers, and combined them with a recent IBISWorld’s industry report on the UK fitness sector.

Among the findings of the Mindbody data was that three-quarters of the nation (75 per cent) no longer had an ongoing gym or studio membership, but that 63 per cent valued flexibility when it came to their workout regime.

The report predicts that the increasingly flexible approach to workout regimes – and working hours – will ultimately bring an end to the traditional ‘peak hours’ and instead create a fitness landscape that fits into the nation’s routines.

Another key finding from Mindbody’s research was the increased and varied role that technology plays in the fitness industry – for both consumers and businesses.

"More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of 18-24-year-olds use technology as part of their fitness routine," the report states. "And 23 per cent of those who do Pilates said technology improves access to classes."

Technology also plays an increasing role in marketing facilities.

"Nearly a quarter, 22 per cent, of people said they find a new studio using an online search and 19 per cent were drawn in by online advertising," the report shows.

The Mindbody report also suggests the fitness industry is far from slowing down, with "major growth opportunities" across the UK.

"Analysis of Mindbody booking data showed a high level of demand along the commuter belt (St. Albans, SW London and Northern Surrey), as well as in wealthy areas surrounding Leeds, such as Harrogate and Huddersfield," the report states.

"Many industry players, including Mindbody customers, are successfully adapting to consumer demand and continuing to expand, innovate and disrupt the UK’s boutique fitness landscape."

To request for the full report, click here for the Mindbody website.

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