GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
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

ukactive update: Active leisure trends

The private gym sector is currently enjoying good growth, but what about local authority fitness facilities? ukactive’s research director Dr Steven Mann shares insights from a new report that explores how local leisure centres are evolving in line with consumer trends

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 10
Steven Mann, research director
Steven Mann, research director
Leisure operators are being empowered with the tools to make data-driven decisions on how to meet demand and help communities across the UK reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle - Alex Burrows, 4 global

With local authority leisure budgets facing biting austerity cuts and the resultant shift to sub-zero subsidy contracts, many people predicted the death of the community leisure centre as we know it.

In one way they were right. Leisure centres with leaky ceilings and chilly pools are fast becoming a thing of the past, and in their place stand a growing number of forward-thinking facilities with diverse product offerings, run by savvy operators mixing public-sector ethos with private sector efficiency. Rather than dying, local leisure centres are thriving, with significant membership growth and evolving product offerings being driven largely by the female market. These are the findings of Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends – a new insight report from ukactive and the DataHub.

Using data from over three million customers and 130 million individual visits across 315 leisure centres over the past two years, the report offers an overview of the leisure landscape and how Brits are getting fit.

The insights, which were collected from the membership management systems of leisure centre operators and processed by the DataHub, include analyses of who is visiting facilities, when they are visiting and what they are doing during the visits.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The report indicates that total membership across the sites increased 9 per cent from financial year (FY) 2016 to 2017, suggesting that local demand for leisure centres and services is growing. The number of overall visits to facilities increased by 17 per cent from 2015 to 2016 across the sites, and current indications for 2017 suggest that visitor numbers will at least be in line with 2016’s total of 54m. The report findings also show that women make up 52 per cent of members and have an average age of 39 years and 10 months, while the average male age is one year younger.

FEMALES TAKE THE LEAD
As well as making up a slim majority of overall memberships, the report shows that women are driving some of the most significant changes in leisure centres. Growing numbers are swapping traditional activities like swimming for spin bikes and other group workouts, leading to a significant shake-up of the ‘gym and swim’ status quo.

Indeed, the number of people visiting leisure centres for group exercise classes such as cardio and indoor cycling has increased by almost 30 per cent over the past two years, with almost two thirds of class participants being female. As a result, the proportion of leisure centre visits for indoor cycling classes has risen by 79 per cent since 2016, with this and cardio classes making up over 50 per cent of total group workout visits.

Despite this, swimming remains the most popular single activity at leisure centres, accounting for 35 per cent of all visits. However, the proportion of visits for swimming has fallen by 15 per cent since 2016, as growing numbers of visitors favour group exercise.

Operators have taken great strides to adjust their offerings to the consumer market, as evidenced by the strong female-driven growth around group exercise.

“Our approach to increasing participation among women has centred on ensuring we have the right programmes in place and properly trained staff with the right levels of empathy and understanding of individual needs,” says Places for People Leisure’s CEO Sandra Dodd.

She adds: “Strong female-focused campaigns such as Sport England’s This Girl Can have also been a key driver, as they broaden knowledge of the opportunities available. As demand grows we continue to explore and offer innovative programmes that encourage more women to adopt a love of physical activity.”

BREAKING DATA BOUNDARIES
While the industry has previously been forced to base major business decisions on data obtained from less-than-robust straw polls and surveys, the real-time data on millions of consumers’ lifestyles and buying habits provided by DataHub is fast making data, which was once our sector’s biggest weak spot, our greatest weapon.

As Alex Burrows, director at 4 global (which administers the DataHub) notes: “The power of this accumulated data means we can now tell how people are getting active, where and when, so our report offers unparalleled insights into the evolution of the leisure market and we’re only just getting started.

“Leisure operators are being empowered with the tools to make data-driven decisions on how to meet demand and help communities across the UK reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle.”

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES
At a time when inactive lifestyles are placing unprecedented strain on the NHS and local social care services, there is a growing sentiment that leisure centres have the chance to step forward and become the lead preventative health provider from cradle to grave. ukactive is currently campaigning for a £1bn investment in local leisure facilities to create state-of-the-art wellness hubs to spearhead this effort. While the current report does little to dispel the potential for local leisure facilities to play a leading role in public health delivery, it does highlight that operators still have some work to do in catering to the outer reaches of that spectrum. Both young people and families, as well as older adults represent significant opportunities that remain unrealised.

The report shows that over 65s are hugely under-represented, making up just 9 per cent of the membership base compared to 22 per cent of the overall UK population. This suggests latent potential for operators to engage older adults with tailored propositions, particularly during off-peak times when they have under-utilised capacity. Interestingly, Saturday is the quietest day of the week despite being the day when people have the most free time, presenting significant opportunities to increase capacity, particularly through more family-friendly activities.

One area where leisure centres are exceeding expectations is diversity; serving to disprove certain long-held assumptions around BAME participation in physical activity. Indeed, the report finds that leisure centres are more ethnically diverse than the population as a whole, with Asian and black users accounting for 13 per cent and 8 per cent of members respectively (8 per cent and 3 per cent of the overall UK population).

MORE TO COME
While built on an unprecedented sample size for the physical activity industry, the current report is still limited in the sense that it only reflects 315 leisure centres. Nonetheless, as more operators sign up to the free DataHub platform, an increasingly comprehensive overview of the sector is likely to be obtained, along with the trends that are shaping it.

This is particularly true for private sector operators, who have a lot to gain from taking advantage of this service to access unprecedented levels of insight, while those who don’t risk being left behind. DataHub is a great way for operators to demonstrate the breadth of their membership and detailed demographics to key brand partners. Furthermore, the clearer picture of the overall sector it provides will place us all on a stronger footing to attract greater levels of investment.

The DataHub keeps growing and currently tracks participation data from more than seven million individuals and 320 million visits from over 850 leisure centres. Moving forward, we will be publishing twice-yearly reports, arming the sector with intelligence that will benefit the sector’s quest to get more people more active, more often.

Who visits leisure facilities?

3 million memberships - 130 million visits - 315 different sites
• 52% Female - 48% Male
• Members aged 65+ 9%
• UK population aged 65+ 22%

Average age of members
• Female: 39 years, 10 months
• Male: 38 years, 10 months

To view the full Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report

visit: http://researchinstitute.ukactive.com/downloads/managed/Moving_Communities_Active_Leisure_Trends_2017.pdf

To learn more about the DataHub, visit:
www.datahubclub.com/

Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report
Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Encouraging women to enjoy exercise remains a focus for leisure centres
Encouraging women to enjoy exercise remains a focus for leisure centres
The older market and 
families present growth opportunities for leisure centres
The older market and families present growth opportunities for leisure centres
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/720441_482613.jpg
The private gym sector is growing, but what about local authority fitness facilities?ukactive's Dr Steven Mann shares insights from a new report.
Steven Mann, research director Alex Burrows, 4 global,Dr Steven Mann, Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report,
HCM magazine
HCM People

Paul Ramsay

MD, 3d Leisure
We’ve never wanted to be the biggest, just the best
HCM magazine
Exercise has been found to power up the body’s production of endocannabinoids and reduce chronic inflammation, explains Tom Walker
HCM magazine
As we wrap up 2021, flooring suppliers share their most exciting projects and launches from the past year
HCM Magazine
Letters
Do what you can to give people exceptional, memorable experiences that support their health
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Premier Gym + Fitness, based in Newton Abbot, Devon, has opened its doors to the public thanks to the help and support of Pulse Fitness
HCM Magazine
Editor's letter
Most consumer-facing sectors have standards to reassure customers on matters of safety and quality. Now it’s the turn of our industry to go through this rite of passage
HCM Magazine
Opinion
Florence Nightingale played an important role in the fitness industry and if she were still with us, she’d certainly be campaigning for fitness trainers to be fully involved in combating the effects of lockdown, says Muir Gray
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We were fortunate to be approached by Sheikh Mohammed – a Qatari entrepreneur – to develop the club
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Code Fitness has partnered with body composition experts Tanita to put analysis at the heart of its programmes
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Leisure operators should embrace activity to engage members says Jenny Patrickson, managing director of Active IQ
HCM Magazine
Latest News
People with early-stage Parkinson’s should do regular exercise to slow down the progression of the ...
Latest News
Hybrid fitness platform FitLab has closed its Series A financing, bringing total capital raised to ...
Latest News
Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence ...
Latest News
At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, ...
Latest News
The Workforce State of Mind Survey, now in its second year, has begun to gather ...
Latest News
Wellness operator and fit tech company, LIT Method, (low-intensity training) is ramping up expansion after ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness has signed an agreement to acquire Sunshine Fitness – an operator of 114 ...
Latest News
People living in London have been advised to avoid or reduce strenuous exercise today (Friday ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Focus on health to attract and retain new members in 2022
The ‘health seeker’ is a term being used a lot within fitness right now, as recent surveys have shown.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Connected Health & Fitness Summit scheduled for March 2022
Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation within the fitness industry, and there isn’t a fitness brand or business that hasn’t been forced to adapt or pivot to digital.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington breaks ground ahead of new Rainham Leisure Centre
Everyone Active has got the New Year off to a flying start as it begins work on the brand new Rainham Leisure Centre.
Company profiles
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness UK
A global innovator of innovation and variety in fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a True Fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: The premium touch
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Bilborough, Nottingham
Bilborough College
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

ukactive update: Active leisure trends

The private gym sector is currently enjoying good growth, but what about local authority fitness facilities? ukactive’s research director Dr Steven Mann shares insights from a new report that explores how local leisure centres are evolving in line with consumer trends

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 10
Steven Mann, research director
Steven Mann, research director
Leisure operators are being empowered with the tools to make data-driven decisions on how to meet demand and help communities across the UK reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle - Alex Burrows, 4 global

With local authority leisure budgets facing biting austerity cuts and the resultant shift to sub-zero subsidy contracts, many people predicted the death of the community leisure centre as we know it.

In one way they were right. Leisure centres with leaky ceilings and chilly pools are fast becoming a thing of the past, and in their place stand a growing number of forward-thinking facilities with diverse product offerings, run by savvy operators mixing public-sector ethos with private sector efficiency. Rather than dying, local leisure centres are thriving, with significant membership growth and evolving product offerings being driven largely by the female market. These are the findings of Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends – a new insight report from ukactive and the DataHub.

Using data from over three million customers and 130 million individual visits across 315 leisure centres over the past two years, the report offers an overview of the leisure landscape and how Brits are getting fit.

The insights, which were collected from the membership management systems of leisure centre operators and processed by the DataHub, include analyses of who is visiting facilities, when they are visiting and what they are doing during the visits.

STRENGTH IN NUMBERS
The report indicates that total membership across the sites increased 9 per cent from financial year (FY) 2016 to 2017, suggesting that local demand for leisure centres and services is growing. The number of overall visits to facilities increased by 17 per cent from 2015 to 2016 across the sites, and current indications for 2017 suggest that visitor numbers will at least be in line with 2016’s total of 54m. The report findings also show that women make up 52 per cent of members and have an average age of 39 years and 10 months, while the average male age is one year younger.

FEMALES TAKE THE LEAD
As well as making up a slim majority of overall memberships, the report shows that women are driving some of the most significant changes in leisure centres. Growing numbers are swapping traditional activities like swimming for spin bikes and other group workouts, leading to a significant shake-up of the ‘gym and swim’ status quo.

Indeed, the number of people visiting leisure centres for group exercise classes such as cardio and indoor cycling has increased by almost 30 per cent over the past two years, with almost two thirds of class participants being female. As a result, the proportion of leisure centre visits for indoor cycling classes has risen by 79 per cent since 2016, with this and cardio classes making up over 50 per cent of total group workout visits.

Despite this, swimming remains the most popular single activity at leisure centres, accounting for 35 per cent of all visits. However, the proportion of visits for swimming has fallen by 15 per cent since 2016, as growing numbers of visitors favour group exercise.

Operators have taken great strides to adjust their offerings to the consumer market, as evidenced by the strong female-driven growth around group exercise.

“Our approach to increasing participation among women has centred on ensuring we have the right programmes in place and properly trained staff with the right levels of empathy and understanding of individual needs,” says Places for People Leisure’s CEO Sandra Dodd.

She adds: “Strong female-focused campaigns such as Sport England’s This Girl Can have also been a key driver, as they broaden knowledge of the opportunities available. As demand grows we continue to explore and offer innovative programmes that encourage more women to adopt a love of physical activity.”

BREAKING DATA BOUNDARIES
While the industry has previously been forced to base major business decisions on data obtained from less-than-robust straw polls and surveys, the real-time data on millions of consumers’ lifestyles and buying habits provided by DataHub is fast making data, which was once our sector’s biggest weak spot, our greatest weapon.

As Alex Burrows, director at 4 global (which administers the DataHub) notes: “The power of this accumulated data means we can now tell how people are getting active, where and when, so our report offers unparalleled insights into the evolution of the leisure market and we’re only just getting started.

“Leisure operators are being empowered with the tools to make data-driven decisions on how to meet demand and help communities across the UK reap the benefits of a more active lifestyle.”

GROWING OPPORTUNITIES
At a time when inactive lifestyles are placing unprecedented strain on the NHS and local social care services, there is a growing sentiment that leisure centres have the chance to step forward and become the lead preventative health provider from cradle to grave. ukactive is currently campaigning for a £1bn investment in local leisure facilities to create state-of-the-art wellness hubs to spearhead this effort. While the current report does little to dispel the potential for local leisure facilities to play a leading role in public health delivery, it does highlight that operators still have some work to do in catering to the outer reaches of that spectrum. Both young people and families, as well as older adults represent significant opportunities that remain unrealised.

The report shows that over 65s are hugely under-represented, making up just 9 per cent of the membership base compared to 22 per cent of the overall UK population. This suggests latent potential for operators to engage older adults with tailored propositions, particularly during off-peak times when they have under-utilised capacity. Interestingly, Saturday is the quietest day of the week despite being the day when people have the most free time, presenting significant opportunities to increase capacity, particularly through more family-friendly activities.

One area where leisure centres are exceeding expectations is diversity; serving to disprove certain long-held assumptions around BAME participation in physical activity. Indeed, the report finds that leisure centres are more ethnically diverse than the population as a whole, with Asian and black users accounting for 13 per cent and 8 per cent of members respectively (8 per cent and 3 per cent of the overall UK population).

MORE TO COME
While built on an unprecedented sample size for the physical activity industry, the current report is still limited in the sense that it only reflects 315 leisure centres. Nonetheless, as more operators sign up to the free DataHub platform, an increasingly comprehensive overview of the sector is likely to be obtained, along with the trends that are shaping it.

This is particularly true for private sector operators, who have a lot to gain from taking advantage of this service to access unprecedented levels of insight, while those who don’t risk being left behind. DataHub is a great way for operators to demonstrate the breadth of their membership and detailed demographics to key brand partners. Furthermore, the clearer picture of the overall sector it provides will place us all on a stronger footing to attract greater levels of investment.

The DataHub keeps growing and currently tracks participation data from more than seven million individuals and 320 million visits from over 850 leisure centres. Moving forward, we will be publishing twice-yearly reports, arming the sector with intelligence that will benefit the sector’s quest to get more people more active, more often.

Who visits leisure facilities?

3 million memberships - 130 million visits - 315 different sites
• 52% Female - 48% Male
• Members aged 65+ 9%
• UK population aged 65+ 22%

Average age of members
• Female: 39 years, 10 months
• Male: 38 years, 10 months

To view the full Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report

visit: http://researchinstitute.ukactive.com/downloads/managed/Moving_Communities_Active_Leisure_Trends_2017.pdf

To learn more about the DataHub, visit:
www.datahubclub.com/

Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report
Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Encouraging women to enjoy exercise remains a focus for leisure centres
Encouraging women to enjoy exercise remains a focus for leisure centres
The older market and 
families present growth opportunities for leisure centres
The older market and families present growth opportunities for leisure centres
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/720441_482613.jpg
The private gym sector is growing, but what about local authority fitness facilities?ukactive's Dr Steven Mann shares insights from a new report.
Steven Mann, research director Alex Burrows, 4 global,Dr Steven Mann, Moving Communities: Active Leisure Trends report,
Latest News
People with early-stage Parkinson’s should do regular exercise to slow down the progression of the ...
Latest News
Hybrid fitness platform FitLab has closed its Series A financing, bringing total capital raised to ...
Latest News
Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence ...
Latest News
At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, ...
Latest News
The Workforce State of Mind Survey, now in its second year, has begun to gather ...
Latest News
Wellness operator and fit tech company, LIT Method, (low-intensity training) is ramping up expansion after ...
Latest News
Planet Fitness has signed an agreement to acquire Sunshine Fitness – an operator of 114 ...
Latest News
People living in London have been advised to avoid or reduce strenuous exercise today (Friday ...
Latest News
A marketing partnership between fitness marketplace Hussle and fast-food giant McDonald's resulted in a significant ...
Latest News
The UK government should encourage – and make it easier – for doctors and other ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, co-founder and CEO of GLL, has been awarded an OBE in the New ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Focus on health to attract and retain new members in 2022
The ‘health seeker’ is a term being used a lot within fitness right now, as recent surveys have shown.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Connected Health & Fitness Summit scheduled for March 2022
Covid-19 has accelerated digital transformation within the fitness industry, and there isn’t a fitness brand or business that hasn’t been forced to adapt or pivot to digital.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington breaks ground ahead of new Rainham Leisure Centre
Everyone Active has got the New Year off to a flying start as it begins work on the brand new Rainham Leisure Centre.
Company profiles
Company profile: Active IQ
Active IQ is the UK’s leading Ofqual-recognised Awarding Organisation for the Physical Activity sector....
Company profiles
Company profile: Octane Fitness UK
A global innovator of innovation and variety in fitness equipment, Octane Fitness, a True Fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Pulse Fitness: The premium touch
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Property & Tenders
Bilborough, Nottingham
Bilborough College
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
FIBO Exhibition
FIBO Exhibition
Partner sites