The UK’s £3.6 billion fitness industry is in the best shape of its 20 year history with more members than ever before.  This is the conclusion of the 2007 FIA State of the UK Fitness Industry Report, the only comprehensive audit of the UK fitness industry.  The market intelligence report published on 12 July 2007 covers national overviews of both the public and private sectors.

National Conclusions

• Revenue is estimated at almost £3.6 billion
• 11.9 per cent of the UK population are now registered members of a health and fitness club or publicly-owned fitness facility
• Like-for-like membership has grown by 3 per cent since 1st January 2006
• Over 230 new public and private fitness facilities have been added to the industry's portfolio
• Almost 90 per cent of the UK population live within two miles of a private health club or publicly-owned fitness facility

Regional Variations

Comparing published obesity data¹ which shows obesity risk with the regional membership penetration levels from the FIA State of the UK Fitness Industry Report shows further winners and losers.  

Health and Wellbeing Winners:
• London: membership penetration is 33 per cent higher in London than the UK average, and obesity risk rates are 65 per cent lower in London than the UK average
• The South East is another region to have a lower than UK average obesity risk, by 34 per cent, but higher than UK average membership penetration level, by 3 per cent
• The North East and South West experienced the largest like-for-like membership growth in private club memberships whilst the East Midlands topped the impressive growth rates in the public sector

Health and Wellbeing Losers:
• Northern Ireland: membership penetration is almost 40 per cent lower than the UK average and obesity risk levels are over 50 per cent higher than the UK average
• Other regions with lower than average membership penetration and higher than average obesity risk levels include Scotland; Wales, Yorkshire and the Humber and West Midlands


"We have almost come to benignly accept the health inequalities in our nation" said Andree Deane, chief executive officer, FIA.

"What this new industry audit highlights is the fact that areas such as London and the South East which have a heightened awareness of health and wellbeing issues (measured by membership to a health club or publicly-owned fitness facility) enjoy lower propensity to obesity levels.   Therefore the clear message to everyone responsible for public health - from GP to Health Minister - is increase awareness, understanding and opportunities to be more active.  This will halt the year-on-year rise in obesity and more than 20 other diseases."

Commenting for the report producers, David Minton, director of The Leisure Database Company said:  “For the first time we can see like-for-like changes across the public sector, by authority, region or home country, and we can compare them to the private sector and the new combined total.  We know, for example, that the market value, overall membership and penetration rates have all increased.  Because we conduct a complete audit of the entire fitness industry the report delivers the most accurate and robust intelligence available, reflecting the true picture of changes within the industry.”

The report is commissioned by the Fitness Industry Association (FIA) and compiled by leisure market analysts, The Leisure Database Company. 

¹ Experian 2006

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Further information:

The Fitness Industry Association: Freya Churchard on 020 7202 4706 / or Julie Watkins on 020 7202 4721 /

The Leisure Database Company: David Minton on 020 7379 3197 / mobile 07860 237008 /

A copy of the State of the UK Fitness Industry Report can be purchased for £1665 or £800 for FIA members.  Contact the FIA on 020 7202 4719 or email