The fitness industry’s core membership, 18- to 49-year-olds, will experience virtually no population growth between 2006 and 2016, according to U.S. Census data analysis by the SIR Boomer Project. The impact from this is already being felt, as, for the first time in more than a decade, fitness membership numbers are on the decline. Compounding this decline is the fact that fitness centers keep spending obscene amounts of money to persuade the already-converted to join, while the industry has a yearly attrition rate of 27 percent (according to the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association, Boston, Mass.). That is one full fitness center’s worth of members who leave every 3.7 years. In addition, according to data released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in June 2008, the level of leisure time physical activity rates of adults 18 and older dipped from 31.8 percent in 1997 to 30.8 percent in 2007.¹
BCC Research, Wellesley, Mass., projects that, by 2009, consumers will spend more than $72 billion on products and services to help slow the aging process. This is what happens when the largest, richest and fastest-growing segments of the population demand products and services designed and marketed specifically for them.
As upward of 78 million boomers make their way into retirement with more than $2 trillion in buying power, they will be demanding more from your business — especially given the fact that only 27 percent of fitness centers offer programs for older adults, according to a 2005 multi-site survey by Dr. Susan Hughes.¹
¹Colin Milner; Fitness Management Magazine