Health before attractiveness: a survey by Activ Fitness and Fitnesspark reveals a shift in the importance of the fitness industry

Zurich, Jan. 4, 2023-The representative survey of movemi AG members conducted last summer shows that the meaning of fitness is changing among the population. 97.9 % of survey participants say they would like to promote their health through fitness. On the other hand, 72 % of respondents cite a better appearance as a reason for joining a fitness club.

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

The 2022 market report published by the European fitness association Europe Active provides similar findings: it indicates that consumer sentiment indicates that there may be an overall increase in physical activity 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. It is not only authorities who recognize that targeted strength training & and resistance training are critical for health and particularly for a strong immune system. This awareness has also influenced the public and is reflected in a change in perception. As our survey shows, fitness is no longer seen primarily as a leisure activity, but as an integral part of a healthy lifestyle,” explains René Kalt, CEO of movemi AG.

Survey mode and other results
The survey, conducted for about two weeks in June 2022 among members in German and French-speaking Switzerland, is one of the most important in the Swiss fitness industry. 44,817 people responded to the full survey. The results are representative of the population aged 15 years and older, with a slightly higher participation rate for women than for men. More results:

  • Among the reasons for signing up for a fitness membership, 70 % of respondents believe the purpose is to manage stress.
  • One in five participants also expressed a need for information on health topics beyond strength and endurance training.
  • About 70 % of respondents already receive proportional reimbursement of fitness enrollment from their health insurance.
  • 51 % of members work full-time, about 20% part-time. The remaining percentages are divided among retirees, students and apprentices, housewives, and persons not in employment.

Attendances are expected to continue to increase in 2023
The renormalization of daily life, the evolution of health awareness, and the increase in the number of hospitalizations in recent months are all grounds for optimism. As a result, movemi AG expects the number of visitors to its facilities to continue to increase. Since the last Covid measures were lifted on Feb. 17, 2022, the number of admissions has steadily increased from a total of 900,000 admissions in February 2022 to about 1.1 million admissions in December 2022. Thus, the resumption of membership was faster than expected. For 2023, therefore, movemi AG, Switzerland’s largest fitness provider, has set a goal to, among other things, place greater emphasis on the growing need for health promotion in more than 130 facilities throughout Switzerland.

Download the press release (in German)