Health before attractiveness: a survey reveals a change in the importance of the fitness sector

Zurich, January 4, 2023 – The representative member survey conducted by movemi AG last summer shows: Fitness is experiencing a change in importance among the population. 97.9 percent of survey participants say they want to promote their health with fitness. A more beautiful appearance, on the other hand, was cited by 72 percent of respondents as a reason for a fitness membership.

The health factor is the first fitness objective before attractiveness
More than 44,800 members of the Activ Fitness and Fitnesspark formats responded to the member survey and confirm the trend of a change in health consciousness. In addition to raising awareness through Covid, social megatrends such as “Work-Life-Balance” or “Health-Style” in recent years should ensure that fitness is not seen primarily as a leisure activity to beautify one’s appearance (cited by 72 % of respondents), but as a relevant pillar of health promotion (97.9 %).

The Market Report 2022 published by the European fitness association Europe Active provides similar results: it indicates that consumer sentiment indicates that a general increase in physical activity may be occurring compared to the pre-Covid era. “After two difficult years, marked by the pandemic, the trend is back in the right direction, at least since last fall. Authorities are not alone in recognizing that targeted strength training & and endurance training are central to good health, including a strong immune system. This awareness has also affected the population and is reflected in a change of perception. As our survey shows, fitness is no longer seen primarily as a leisure activity, but as an integral part of an overall healthy lifestyle”, explains René Kalt, CEO of movemi AG.

Survey mode and other results
The survey, which was conducted over a period of approximately two weeks in June 2022 among members in the German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, is one of the most important in the Swiss fitness industry. 44,817 people completed the entire survey. The results are representative of the population aged 15 years and older, with a slightly higher participation rate for women than for men. Other results:

  • Among the reasons for taking out a fitness membership, 70 % of those surveyed believe that the purpose is to manage stress.
  • One in five participants also expressed a need for information on health topics beyond strength and endurance training.
  • Approximately 70 % of those surveyed already receive a proportional reimbursement of their fitness membership from their health insurance company.
  • 51 % of the members work full time, about 20 percent part time. The remaining percentages are divided among retirees, students and apprentices, homemakers, and those not in the workforce.

Attendance is expected to continue to increase in 2023
The renormalization of daily life, the shift in health consciousness, and the increase in admissions over the past few months are all reasons for optimism. As a result, movemi SA expects that the number of visitors to its facilities will continue to increase. Since the last Covid measures were lifted on February 17, 2022, the number of entries has steadily increased from a total of 900,000 entries in February 2022 to approximately 1.1 million entries in December 2022. As a result, the recovery in membership was faster than expected. For 2023, movemi AG, Switzerland’s largest fitness provider, has therefore set itself the goal of, among other things, giving greater importance to the increased need for health promotion in over 130 facilities throughout Switzerland.