US: People are returning to the gym — what do consumers value most?
February 18th, 2022, YouGov

US: People are returning to the gym — what do consumers value most?

After taking a beating in the first portion of the pandemic, gyms in the United States have reported a rebound in membership to pre-pandemic levels as consumers swing from at-home exercise solutions back to in-person experiences.

As the industry continues its recovery, a new YouGov poll conducted in the US reveals how many consumers are considering membership, and what consumers most value when picking a new gym.

Firstly, while there has been a well-documented recovery in the gym industry in the US, there is substantial room for brands to grow membership. Our data shows roughly a quarter of Americans who do not currently have a gym membership (either they never have or have let one lapse) would consider joining a gym in the next three months (26%).

Let’s look at this group more closely. When asked what they consider to be the most important aspects of a gym, their views align with US consumers in general. However, they are slightly more price conscious (61% chose cost as an important thing vs. 57% of the general US public) and place more value on a gym’s variety of fitness classes (19% vs. 13%).

Among all US consumers, cost (57%), location (53%) and cleanliness (49%) rank highest on our list of considerations presented to respondents.

Looking closer at differences among generations, we see American Millennials place the same high value on those aspects, but are more likely than the general public to consider a gym’s security (33% vs. 24%) and perks such as free food or member social events (20% vs. 13%).

Looking along gender lines, we see a few notable differences. For starters, men consider the membership price more than women (61% vs. 53%); men are also more likely to place importance on a facility's entertainment such as TVs and music (13% vs. 7%); and men are much less likely to care about the variety of fitness classes compared with women (5% vs. 20%).

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Methodology: YouGov polled 1,076 US adults online on February 9, 2022 between 11:17 a.m. and 3:25 p.m. ET. The survey was carried out through YouGov Direct. Data is weighted by age, gender, education level, political affiliation, and ethnicity. Results are nationally representative of adults in the United States. The margin of error is 3% for the overall sample.