Editor's letter: Beyond the 12 per cent barrier" />
GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Editor's letter: Beyond the 12 per cent barrier" />
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Precor UK
Precor UK
Precor UK
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Beyond the 12 per cent barrier

Even before we look to new audiences, there’s so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into exercise

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 8

The UK fitness sector has reached a plateau in its product lifecycle: after the rapid growth of the noughties, it’s been stuck at roughly the same level of market penetration – 12 per cent – for years, with only the arrival of the budget clubs nudging it up a meagre half point (State of the UK Fitness Industry Report).

There are signs the sector can push beyond this, from the green shoots of interest from the medical sector to the involvement of increasingly influential partners such as Tesco, which has partnered with Xercise 4 Less to build gyms in supermarkets – a move that will ensure a far higher profile with the public (see p15). 

However, if we want to see a dramatic uplift, there needs to be an equally dramatic shift in approach. In our panel feature on page 30, ukactive’s David Stalker talks about moving from fitness delivery to health delivery, while TLDC’s David Minton identifies older and deconditioned people as key prospects to drive penetration and Mintel’s Michael Oliver picks out young singles. But YouGov’s James McCoy highlights the importance of targeting lapsed members, and this is key. Even before we look to new audiences, there’s so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into the idea of exercise.

Mintel research shows almost 40 per cent of UK adults have, at some point, been gym members, but well over half have lapsed. Meanwhile figures based on TLDC data and new retention research from Dr Paul Bedford suggest up to 3.5 million members lapse each year (more details in HCM Sept). 

That’s a huge number who at best feel the gym isn’t “for them”, and who at worst have been alienated by clubs’ behaviour. 

Rather than comforting ourselves that penetration remains steady around 12 per cent, we should be analysing the situation more thoughtfully in relation to churn. 

The 23 per cent of adults who are lapsed members present an opportunity to boost membership – but only if we deliver what they want, where and how they want it. London-based pop-up operator Move shows how this can be done: its Facebook page asks “What would you like to do, and where?” with suggestions acknowledged and delivered on – a contrast to the model that insists people come to the same facility with the same timetable all the time. It’s about helping people create their own routine – something that suits, motivates and engages them.

It’s also about fitting into routines people have already created for themselves: the last thing we should do is undermine existing fitness habits in order to implant new ones.

Equipment manufacturers are recognising this, partnering with third party apps to ensure those already engaged in tracking activity – via the likes of Nike+ or Runkeeper – can stick with this routine while drawing gym equipment-based data into the mix (see p60). These people may not use gyms all the time: they’re likely to enjoy a variety of activities. However, if clubs position themselves as hubs that offer goal-setting (see p52), guidance and data interpretation, they could attract more exercise converts – and that’s surely the easiest target of all to take us beyond 12 per cent.

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_8editor.gif
Even before we look to new audiences, there's so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into exercise, says Kate Cracknell
HCM magazine
From colour zones to personalised resistance, indoor bikes now offer smarter, more advanced features than ever before. Suppliers tell us how their models can revolutionise your indoor cycling programme
HCM magazine
Free gym access is offered to gyms in four areas and 11 leisure centres and our intentions are to expand throughout the UK
HCM magazine
HCM People

Jeremy McCarthy

Group director of spa, Mandarin Oriental
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Everyone has the right to know about their own internal data, to enable and motivate them to take control of their own health
HCM Magazine
Event showcase
As Elevate returns to the market, we talk to director Lucy Findlay about how the event has come together
HCM Magazine
Flooring
Time for a flooring upgrade? Experts share their latest insights to inspire flooring projects of all types
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Insight
The pandemic brought about our sector’s biggest ever collaboration on COVID safety data. Lizzie Broughton tells the story
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
Everyone's talking about
In the wake of the pandemic, is the time ripe to change the language around the role of exercise professionals, and gain greater trust from the healthcare sector?
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: REGUPOL BSW GmbH
REGUPOL is one of the leading suppliers of sports and safety flooring, anti-slip mats for ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Panatta Srl
Panatta is an historical fitness brand displaying one of the widest range of products in ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - A matched philosophy
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

Editor's letter: Beyond the 12 per cent barrier

Even before we look to new audiences, there’s so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into exercise

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 8

The UK fitness sector has reached a plateau in its product lifecycle: after the rapid growth of the noughties, it’s been stuck at roughly the same level of market penetration – 12 per cent – for years, with only the arrival of the budget clubs nudging it up a meagre half point (State of the UK Fitness Industry Report).

There are signs the sector can push beyond this, from the green shoots of interest from the medical sector to the involvement of increasingly influential partners such as Tesco, which has partnered with Xercise 4 Less to build gyms in supermarkets – a move that will ensure a far higher profile with the public (see p15). 

However, if we want to see a dramatic uplift, there needs to be an equally dramatic shift in approach. In our panel feature on page 30, ukactive’s David Stalker talks about moving from fitness delivery to health delivery, while TLDC’s David Minton identifies older and deconditioned people as key prospects to drive penetration and Mintel’s Michael Oliver picks out young singles. But YouGov’s James McCoy highlights the importance of targeting lapsed members, and this is key. Even before we look to new audiences, there’s so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into the idea of exercise.

Mintel research shows almost 40 per cent of UK adults have, at some point, been gym members, but well over half have lapsed. Meanwhile figures based on TLDC data and new retention research from Dr Paul Bedford suggest up to 3.5 million members lapse each year (more details in HCM Sept). 

That’s a huge number who at best feel the gym isn’t “for them”, and who at worst have been alienated by clubs’ behaviour. 

Rather than comforting ourselves that penetration remains steady around 12 per cent, we should be analysing the situation more thoughtfully in relation to churn. 

The 23 per cent of adults who are lapsed members present an opportunity to boost membership – but only if we deliver what they want, where and how they want it. London-based pop-up operator Move shows how this can be done: its Facebook page asks “What would you like to do, and where?” with suggestions acknowledged and delivered on – a contrast to the model that insists people come to the same facility with the same timetable all the time. It’s about helping people create their own routine – something that suits, motivates and engages them.

It’s also about fitting into routines people have already created for themselves: the last thing we should do is undermine existing fitness habits in order to implant new ones.

Equipment manufacturers are recognising this, partnering with third party apps to ensure those already engaged in tracking activity – via the likes of Nike+ or Runkeeper – can stick with this routine while drawing gym equipment-based data into the mix (see p60). These people may not use gyms all the time: they’re likely to enjoy a variety of activities. However, if clubs position themselves as hubs that offer goal-setting (see p52), guidance and data interpretation, they could attract more exercise converts – and that’s surely the easiest target of all to take us beyond 12 per cent.

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_8editor.gif
Even before we look to new audiences, there's so much more we can do to attract people who have already bought into exercise, says Kate Cracknell
Latest News
Music service provider Rehegoo (pronounced Reh-air-go) has launched a streaming service for health clubs, gyms, ...
Latest News
F45 has launched a corporate partnership programme which will enable businesses to open an F45 ...
Latest News
A two-year research project will look to find ways to transform the UK's physical activity ...
Latest News
The best in the business from across the physical activity sector were honoured last night ...
Latest News
At UK Active’s Active Uprising event yesterday (30 June) in Birmingham, Hattie Jones, the head ...
Latest News
HCM understands researchers are moving closer to creating a pill to mimic some of the ...
Latest News
Establishing new data and insight services and strengthening relationships with both government and the NHS ...
Latest News
More than one in five (27 per cent) Americans belonged to a health club or ...
Latest News
Ultimate Performance (UP) – the private gym chain and PT business – has opened a ...
Latest News
Luxury hotel chain Mandarin Oriental has launched a new brand called Intelligent Movement to deliver ...
Latest News
Boutique fitness chain 1Rebel opens the doors to its tenth club today (Monday 27 June ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: How wearables-driven gamification will boost your business
It’s a known fact that gamification is an effective method to make everyday activities and work more fun.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: REGUPOL BSW GmbH
REGUPOL is one of the leading suppliers of sports and safety flooring, anti-slip mats for ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Panatta Srl
Panatta is an historical fitness brand displaying one of the widest range of products in ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - A matched philosophy
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Precor UK
Precor UK
Partner sites