Latest
issue
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 I've already subscribed!
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn
FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

Secure your spot now
Super early bird ends in

Latest news

Gen Z women are more engaged with physical activity than previous generations, finds Ernst & Young research

49 per cent of females in the UK now engage with sport and physical activity
18- to 24-year-old women are more engaged with sport than former generations
Sports with a low barrier to entry, that foster community, are the most popular with women
Female engagement with spectating correlates with participation

According to new research from Ernst & Young, the gap between female and male engagement in sport and physical activity is narrowing, with Gen Z adult female engagement figures on the rise.

The EY Sports Engagement Index surveys more than 4,000 UK adults and uses comparative data to identify engagement levels across a range of sports by measuring the number of adults who are actively participating, attending sporting events or following a sport on TV/online/on social media.

Forty-nine per cent of females in the UK engage with sports and physical activity in some way; with 18- to 24-year-olds being the most engaged at 66 per cent, compared to 79 per cent of males of this age.

For the over 55s, there is a bigger gender gap: 37 per cent of females compared with 66 per cent of males.

Tal Hewitt, sports strategy lead at EY-Parthenon, says Gen Z behaviour is markedly different from other demographics and this interest in sport is likely to continue to build: “Our understanding of Gen Z leads us to believe that it’s possible more of these younger female engagers will remain engaged with sport through their lives," she said. "Over time this is likely to impact not only how sports need to engage with their fan bases, but also which sports will top the leaderboards in terms of popularity.

“Sports organisations must recognise and adapt to the needs of their current and future female audience to avoid being left behind. By nurturing female participation, attendance and followership, they can ensure this vibrant fanbase continues to grow and evolve, retaining engagement throughout women's lives, and ultimately, reshaping the industry for decades to come.”

The figures

In the UK alone, the Index suggests 13 million women follow or participate in sports, and/or attend some form of sports event, compared to 18 million men. Female engagers are also becoming very important contributors to most of the UK’s top 20 sports. For example, they constitute over a third of the engagement base in football and nearly 30 per cent in Rugby Union.

Females show high engagement with endurance and lifestyle sports. Making up 39 per cent of runners; 36 per cent of cyclists; 44 per cent of tennis players and 46 per cent of badminton players, all of which feed into the health and fitness sector.

Women also dominate studio-, spa- and health club-based wellness activities, such as yoga, HIIT classes, dance-based workouts and Pilates (64 per cent) and gymnastics (72 per cent).

The sports resonating less with females are cricket, snooker, Formula E, MMA, American football, boxing and weightlifting.

The report also shows that female engagement correlates with participation and of the top 20 sports for female engagement, 11 are leaders in female participation.

Female participation often focuses on activities with low barriers to entry, such as running, cycling, hiking, wellness, dance and aerobics workouts. These are all accessible, with physical health benefits and many also foster community.

Apart from netball, few traditional team sports rank highly on the female participation charts.

Women’s sports are helping to shift the dial in terms of female engagement figures, but there's still progress to be made. Apart from cycling, gymnastics, badminton and skiing, men currently drive most of the engagement with women’s sporting formats.

Women’s formats for cycling and badminton show the highest gender shift of all the sports considered, as both of them pivot from being male-driven for the male format to female-driven for the female format, making them the sports that are most evolved in terms of women driving the agenda.

The EY Index highlights the importance of mixed-gender formats in driving participation. This is particularly true for tennis and badminton, with 17 per cent of tennis players only engaging in the mixed format of the sport.

Tom Kingsley, sports industry group leader at EY, explains why it is so important for sport and physical activity providers to target women: “If sports work to properly understand female engagers, they can serve, grow, and monetise this engagement base more successfully.

“Sports that successfully engage a female fanbase – such as tennis – give themselves a larger market to target and a better chance of winning when competing for family time, attention and budget. By doing so, they also extend their appeal to a broader range of commercial partners.

“Understanding the opportunities that lie within the female sports engagement population, including the evolution of women’s sporting formats and the new trends being set by Gen Z, will help to plan for future growth and engagement strategies. Ignoring these shifts could mean missing out on substantial segments of the audience that are poised to shape the future of sport.”

Given reports of an enjoyment gap between men and women and consistent findings that women’s participation lags behind men’s, for example, Sport England’s Active Lives Adults Report , and Nuffield’s Healthier Nation Index it’s heartening to see this gap is narrowing. It gives hopes that the change could come from the younger generations: Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People’s Report 22-23 revealed the most significant gains in participation levels were made among girls aged 13 to 16.

Like the Index, Active Lives found a flat trend in team sport participation, apart from in basketball and football, which are two sports working hard to be seen as relevant and engage new audiences. Active Lives also found walking, going to the gym and fitness had all increased last year compared to five years ago.

Latest News
Belgian retail giant, Colruyt Group, is challenging the status quo of the fitness industry in ...
Latest News
According to a year-long study, offering financial incentives to people to encourage them to lose ...
Latest News
Xponential Fitness has appointed sales and franchise expert, Mark King, as CEO, to take the ...
Latest News
Fitness influencer and karate champion, Anna Lewandowska, has announced the launch of a multi-concept boutique ...
Latest News
The Health & Fitness Association (formerly IHRSA) has announced Singapore-based attorney and international industry advocate, ...
Latest News
With the UK General Election imminent, industry strategist, Martyn Allison, says it’s time for the ...
Latest News
More than 20 organisations have joined together in the UK to form the Swim Alliance, ...
Latest News
According to a number of recent studies, semaglutide weight-loss drugs can be effective in treating ...
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Sydney Swans team members were impressed by previous BLK BOX installations such as those for Manchester United and Loughborough University
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
A major refurbishment of Sport Ireland Fitness by Technogym has created a world-class public gym at the home of Irish sport
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Sustainability in the fitness industry is coming on in leaps and bounds as more operators refurbish their gym equipment to save money and the planet
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
We all know we need to stand more. Now an exciting new partnership between Physical and Teca Fitness expands this thinking into UK gyms and beyond
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Life Fitness has reimagined cardio with the launch of its Symbio line which has been designed with advanced biomechanics and offers deep levels of customisation
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Coaching workshops from Keith Smith and Adam Daniel have been designed to empower your team and transform your service
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
HCM magazine
When retailer, the €11 billion-a-year Colruyt Group, decided to get into the health club market, the plan was to fully integrate its entire business using customer insight data. The results are remarkable
HCM magazine
From payments to virtual classes, software integrations can take your operation to the next level. Providers tell us about their most in-demand offerings
HCM magazine
AI has the potential to support people in making healthy lifestyle changes if its algorithms can be updated to understand the different stages of motivation, as Jodi Heckel reports
HCM magazine
Immediate rewards can motivate people to exercise more, according to new research, reports Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Appointed president of Xponential Fitness when she was only 34, Sarah Luna attributes her career success to the grit, determination and stamina she honed as a dancer by day and Pilates teacher by night. She talks to Kath Hudson about how owning her choices has given her the resilience to take on one of the top jobs in the US fitness industry, while also raising a family
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Elevate announces new aquatics and active kids theatres for 2024 event
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), and Swim England have teamed up to sponsor an aquatic theatre at Elevate 2024.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: CoverMe Fitness launches in Australian market
CoverMe Fitness, the studio management app for the fitness industry, has launched in Australia, with industry veteran Tony Zonato as managing director for the region.
Company profiles
Company profile: GANTNER
GANTNER optimizes and simplifies the organisation of fitness clubs....
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Preferred by some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts, Matrix offers an array of ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Delivering the vision
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Zoom Media press release: Zoom Media UK partners with Your Personal Training to expand rewards platform to PT clients
Zoom Media UK, the leading provider of digital media solutions for fitness facilities, is announcing an exciting new partnership with Your Personal Training (YPT), the UK’s foremost Personal Training brand. This collaboration marks the first time Zoom’s rewards platform will be directly available to the clients of YPT trainers, offering unique incentives to enhance client engagement and retention.
Featured press releases
ABC Trainerize press release: How RockBox Fitness is energizing members with fitness challenges powered by ABC Trainerize
RockBox Fitness, a leading franchise known for its dynamic boxing-based fitness classes, has revolutionized member engagement with a new partnership with ABC Fitness and the implementation of ABC Trainerize throughout its franchise network.
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Property & Tenders
Cleveland Lakes, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
Cotswold Lakes Trust
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
10 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London,
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-06 Feb 2025
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
11-13 Feb 2025
Fairmont Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
Diary dates
10-13 Apr 2025
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
07-07 Jun 2025
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
28-31 Oct 2025
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates

Latest news

Gen Z women are more engaged with physical activity than previous generations, finds Ernst & Young research

49 per cent of females in the UK now engage with sport and physical activity
18- to 24-year-old women are more engaged with sport than former generations
Sports with a low barrier to entry, that foster community, are the most popular with women
Female engagement with spectating correlates with participation

According to new research from Ernst & Young, the gap between female and male engagement in sport and physical activity is narrowing, with Gen Z adult female engagement figures on the rise.

The EY Sports Engagement Index surveys more than 4,000 UK adults and uses comparative data to identify engagement levels across a range of sports by measuring the number of adults who are actively participating, attending sporting events or following a sport on TV/online/on social media.

Forty-nine per cent of females in the UK engage with sports and physical activity in some way; with 18- to 24-year-olds being the most engaged at 66 per cent, compared to 79 per cent of males of this age.

For the over 55s, there is a bigger gender gap: 37 per cent of females compared with 66 per cent of males.

Tal Hewitt, sports strategy lead at EY-Parthenon, says Gen Z behaviour is markedly different from other demographics and this interest in sport is likely to continue to build: “Our understanding of Gen Z leads us to believe that it’s possible more of these younger female engagers will remain engaged with sport through their lives," she said. "Over time this is likely to impact not only how sports need to engage with their fan bases, but also which sports will top the leaderboards in terms of popularity.

“Sports organisations must recognise and adapt to the needs of their current and future female audience to avoid being left behind. By nurturing female participation, attendance and followership, they can ensure this vibrant fanbase continues to grow and evolve, retaining engagement throughout women's lives, and ultimately, reshaping the industry for decades to come.”

The figures

In the UK alone, the Index suggests 13 million women follow or participate in sports, and/or attend some form of sports event, compared to 18 million men. Female engagers are also becoming very important contributors to most of the UK’s top 20 sports. For example, they constitute over a third of the engagement base in football and nearly 30 per cent in Rugby Union.

Females show high engagement with endurance and lifestyle sports. Making up 39 per cent of runners; 36 per cent of cyclists; 44 per cent of tennis players and 46 per cent of badminton players, all of which feed into the health and fitness sector.

Women also dominate studio-, spa- and health club-based wellness activities, such as yoga, HIIT classes, dance-based workouts and Pilates (64 per cent) and gymnastics (72 per cent).

The sports resonating less with females are cricket, snooker, Formula E, MMA, American football, boxing and weightlifting.

The report also shows that female engagement correlates with participation and of the top 20 sports for female engagement, 11 are leaders in female participation.

Female participation often focuses on activities with low barriers to entry, such as running, cycling, hiking, wellness, dance and aerobics workouts. These are all accessible, with physical health benefits and many also foster community.

Apart from netball, few traditional team sports rank highly on the female participation charts.

Women’s sports are helping to shift the dial in terms of female engagement figures, but there's still progress to be made. Apart from cycling, gymnastics, badminton and skiing, men currently drive most of the engagement with women’s sporting formats.

Women’s formats for cycling and badminton show the highest gender shift of all the sports considered, as both of them pivot from being male-driven for the male format to female-driven for the female format, making them the sports that are most evolved in terms of women driving the agenda.

The EY Index highlights the importance of mixed-gender formats in driving participation. This is particularly true for tennis and badminton, with 17 per cent of tennis players only engaging in the mixed format of the sport.

Tom Kingsley, sports industry group leader at EY, explains why it is so important for sport and physical activity providers to target women: “If sports work to properly understand female engagers, they can serve, grow, and monetise this engagement base more successfully.

“Sports that successfully engage a female fanbase – such as tennis – give themselves a larger market to target and a better chance of winning when competing for family time, attention and budget. By doing so, they also extend their appeal to a broader range of commercial partners.

“Understanding the opportunities that lie within the female sports engagement population, including the evolution of women’s sporting formats and the new trends being set by Gen Z, will help to plan for future growth and engagement strategies. Ignoring these shifts could mean missing out on substantial segments of the audience that are poised to shape the future of sport.”

Given reports of an enjoyment gap between men and women and consistent findings that women’s participation lags behind men’s, for example, Sport England’s Active Lives Adults Report , and Nuffield’s Healthier Nation Index it’s heartening to see this gap is narrowing. It gives hopes that the change could come from the younger generations: Sport England’s Active Lives Children and Young People’s Report 22-23 revealed the most significant gains in participation levels were made among girls aged 13 to 16.

Like the Index, Active Lives found a flat trend in team sport participation, apart from in basketball and football, which are two sports working hard to be seen as relevant and engage new audiences. Active Lives also found walking, going to the gym and fitness had all increased last year compared to five years ago.

Latest news

Belgian retail giant, Colruyt Group, is challenging the status quo of the fitness industry in
According to a year-long study, offering financial incentives to people to encourage them to lose
Xponential Fitness has appointed sales and franchise expert, Mark King, as CEO, to take the
Fitness influencer and karate champion, Anna Lewandowska, has announced the launch of a multi-concept boutique
The Health & Fitness Association (formerly IHRSA) has announced Singapore-based attorney and international industry advocate,
With the UK General Election imminent, industry strategist, Martyn Allison, says it’s time for the
Global Wellness Summit
Global Wellness Summit
CoverMe Fitness, the studio management app for the fitness industry, has launched in Australia, with
More than 20 organisations have joined together in the UK to form the Swim Alliance,
According to a number of recent studies, semaglutide weight-loss drugs can be effective in treating
German health and fitness operator, LifeFit Group, has found a new investor – Waterland Private
More than 200 organisations and athletes in the UK have signed an open letter to
Diversity, equity and inclusion in the European fitness industry is examined in a new report
Following the success of its first site in Whitefield, Total Fitness is launching a purpose-built
Alliance Leisure
Alliance Leisure
The passion for fitness and bodybuilding reached new heights at the Panatta stands during RiminiWellness
David Beckham and F45 Training have finally settled the breach-of-contract lawsuit around Beckham’s ambassadorial agreement
Apple has previewed the upcoming watchOS 11, which has more health and fitness insights and
With just a few weeks until the General Election, CIMSPA – the organisation that represents people
Co-founders of specialist gym and fitness wear company, WIT Fitness, have returned to the brand
Basic-Fit has signed an agreement to sell five Holmes Place clubs it acquired as part
The UK health and fitness is performing well, especially the private sector, with member numbers,
Innovatise UK Ltd
Innovatise UK Ltd
RLSS UK, STA and Swim England are joining forces to bring Aquatics to Elevate 2024
David Lloyd Leisure has opened the doors of Madrid country club, La Finca, which it
Leisure development specialist, Alliance Leisure, has appointed industry veteran, David Stalker, as advisor to the
1 - 20 of 12,300
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Sydney Swans team members were impressed by previous BLK BOX installations such as those for Manchester United and Loughborough University
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
A major refurbishment of Sport Ireland Fitness by Technogym has created a world-class public gym at the home of Irish sport
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Sustainability in the fitness industry is coming on in leaps and bounds as more operators refurbish their gym equipment to save money and the planet
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
We all know we need to stand more. Now an exciting new partnership between Physical and Teca Fitness expands this thinking into UK gyms and beyond
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Life Fitness has reimagined cardio with the launch of its Symbio line which has been designed with advanced biomechanics and offers deep levels of customisation
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Coaching workshops from Keith Smith and Adam Daniel have been designed to empower your team and transform your service
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Operators, prepare to revolutionise the way members connect with personal trainers in your club, with the ground-breaking Brawn platform.
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Epassi, a provider of workplace wellness benefits, is creating a fitter and more productive workforce, one membership at a time 
HCM promotional features
Sponsored
Nuffield Health has worked with ServiceSport UK for more than ten years, ensuring the equipment in its clubs is commercially optimised
HCM promotional features
HCM magazine
When retailer, the €11 billion-a-year Colruyt Group, decided to get into the health club market, the plan was to fully integrate its entire business using customer insight data. The results are remarkable
HCM magazine
From payments to virtual classes, software integrations can take your operation to the next level. Providers tell us about their most in-demand offerings
HCM magazine
AI has the potential to support people in making healthy lifestyle changes if its algorithms can be updated to understand the different stages of motivation, as Jodi Heckel reports
HCM magazine
Immediate rewards can motivate people to exercise more, according to new research, reports Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Appointed president of Xponential Fitness when she was only 34, Sarah Luna attributes her career success to the grit, determination and stamina she honed as a dancer by day and Pilates teacher by night. She talks to Kath Hudson about how owning her choices has given her the resilience to take on one of the top jobs in the US fitness industry, while also raising a family
HCM magazine
HCM People

Mariah Rooney

Founder, Trauma Informed Weight Lifting
When people experience early life trauma it impacts their bodies and nervous systems. I became curious about how lifting weights could help them have the experience of strength
HCM magazine
HCM People

Mark Tweedie

Associate, Miova
I’d love to see a national wellness service working hand in glove with NHS primary care
HCM magazine
New research from UCLA Health looked at the impact of Kundalini yoga on memory and found a significant impact, finds Megan Whitby
HCM magazine
We’re aiming to reach 50-70 gyms by mid-2027, some in supermarkets
HCM magazine
Steph Eaves looks at how health assessment devices are evolving to keep up with industry trends
HCM magazine
As more trans women, trans men and non-binary people join health clubs, it’s time to work out a system where everyone feels included, protected and safe in the locker room. Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Elevate announces new aquatics and active kids theatres for 2024 event
The Royal Life Saving Society UK (RLSS UK), the Swimming Teachers Association (STA), and Swim England have teamed up to sponsor an aquatic theatre at Elevate 2024.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: CoverMe Fitness launches in Australian market
CoverMe Fitness, the studio management app for the fitness industry, has launched in Australia, with industry veteran Tony Zonato as managing director for the region.
Company profiles
Company profile: GANTNER
GANTNER optimizes and simplifies the organisation of fitness clubs....
Company profiles
Company profile: Matrix Fitness
Preferred by some of the world’s finest hotels and resorts, Matrix offers an array of ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Safe Space: Delivering the vision
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Zoom Media press release: Zoom Media UK partners with Your Personal Training to expand rewards platform to PT clients
Zoom Media UK, the leading provider of digital media solutions for fitness facilities, is announcing an exciting new partnership with Your Personal Training (YPT), the UK’s foremost Personal Training brand. This collaboration marks the first time Zoom’s rewards platform will be directly available to the clients of YPT trainers, offering unique incentives to enhance client engagement and retention.
Featured press releases
ABC Trainerize press release: How RockBox Fitness is energizing members with fitness challenges powered by ABC Trainerize
RockBox Fitness, a leading franchise known for its dynamic boxing-based fitness classes, has revolutionized member engagement with a new partnership with ABC Fitness and the implementation of ABC Trainerize throughout its franchise network.
Directory
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Lockers
Fitlockers: Lockers
Property & Tenders
Cleveland Lakes, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire
Cotswold Lakes Trust
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
08-10 Sep 2024
Wyndham® Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs™ Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
The Salil Hotel Riverside - Bangkok, Bangkok 10120, Thailand
Diary dates
20-22 Sep 2024
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
01-04 Oct 2024
REVĪVŌ Wellness Resort Nusa Dua Bali, Kabupaten Badung, Indonesia
Diary dates
09-13 Oct 2024
Soneva Fushi, Maldives
Diary dates
10 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London,
Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
QEII Conference Centre, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-06 Feb 2025
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
11-13 Feb 2025
Fairmont Riyadh , Saudi Arabia
Diary dates
10-13 Apr 2025
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
07-07 Jun 2025
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
28-31 Oct 2025
Koelnmesse, Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
The Leisure Media Company Ltd
Partner sites