Wednesday, July 23, 2008

IDEA Health & Fitness Association Reveals Findings of 2008 Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey

(Health & Fitness), IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the leading membership organization of health, wellness and fitness professionals worldwide with more than 23,000 members in over 80 countries, has revealed the results of its annual IDEA Fitness Programs & Equipment Survey.

The 13th annual survey revealed a variety of emerging as well as more familiar activities that are continuing to gain momentum.

Highlights of fitness programs and trends from the survey include:

  • Survey respondents reveal that the populations of members at their facilities are heavily female (66 percent) compared to male.
  • Long-time favorites Pilates (offered by 68 percent of the respondents) and yoga (61 percent) continue their climb in popularity.
  • Personal training in small groups made an impressive leap to 58 percent, up from 44 percent last year.
  • Creating a fun environment is a key focus for 43 percent of fitness mangers and two-thirds said they expect this area to grow, citing that social activity groups (walking or running clubs, organized group activities, etc.) strengthen client retention.
  • Personal training for youths (18 years old or younger) is offered by 63 percent of respondents; kids fitness programs are offered by 36 percent. Classes for seniors rose from 39 percent to 51 percent.
  • While nutrition assessment and coaching are now offered by more than half of the survey respondents, fitness professionals are encouraged to build reciprocal relationships with registered dieticians and others.

Regarding data on exercise equipment, the survey revealed the following:

  • Equipment topping the charts continues to be small and versatile; 94 percent of respondents said they offer resistance tubing or bands while 87 percent favor barbells and/or dumbbells.
  • Stability balls and weighted bars are offered by 88 percent and 70 percent of respondents, respectively.
  • While elliptical trainers have been around for years, 61 percent of respondents said they believe this equipment area still has room for growth.
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