• 51% of the population said personal health and fitness became more important during the pandemic.
  • Of those without a gym membership or regular attendance, 18% are likely to join a fitness club or gym after restrictions have lifted.
  • 55% of gym goers agree it is impossible to replicate the energy of the gym at home.

LONDON, UK, 15 APRIL 2021: With lockdown restrictions easing as gyms and leisure centres reopen across the UK, leading provider of enterprise software, payments and commerce-enabling solutions for the health and fitness industry, Xplor, is thrilled to share its latest findings on consumer health and fitness habits post-Covid.

Over the last twelve months, the appetite for exercise has increased with consumers missing the routine, equipment, fun and social aspects of their gym, fitness studio or leisure centre. Of those without a gym membership or attending regular fitness classes pre-Covid 18% are likely to join a fitness club or gym after restrictions are lifted, which equates to 12% of the UK population aged 18-74.

Over half of the population (51%) said personal health and fitness has become more important to them during the pandemic, with 47% of those finding more time to exercise and 40% saying they now exercise more outdoors than they did pre-Covid. However,over a third of respondents said they were dissatisfied with their fitness regime during lockdown, with the biggest contributing factors being lack of motivation (41%); finding it hard to get into a routine (29%); and missing socializing with others (32%) particularly amongst those aged 55+ (42%).

Camilla Sunner, Chief Commercial Officer UK/Europe, for Xplor, comments: 

“The UK population’s overwhelming desire to get moving and back to into the gym bodes well for a successful reopening this week. With 46% of British gym goers agreeing it is impossible to replicate the energy of the gym at home, there’s an opportunity to harness this excitement, and give more customers exactly what they want from their fitness membership”

Prior to the pandemic, gym and fitness class attendees spent an average of three hours on workouts,and 1.5 hours attending fitness classes – but during lockdown they reported a decline in the average time spent on health and fitness activities of up to 36%.

With such a huge disruption in routine for many gym goers, gyms, studios, and leisure centres will need to work hard to re-engage their community and entice their members back to their premises after reopening. Most gym goers turned to home workouts during the lockdown with 2.3 million (22%) purchasing equipment to replicate their gym experience at home – but 1.2 million (11%) of those surveyed, said they will not return to the gym at all.

However, gyms and leisure centres who have quickly adapted to digital fitness tools, using apps to engage with members and hosting online workouts for their community have reaped the benefits, with 32% of consumers having streamed or downloaded fitness videos during lockdown. The data found those who did online workouts were also more likely to engage with gyms in a bid to continue with their fitness goals post-Covid.

Sunner ends:

“From social interaction to their favourite instructor, and the range of equipment and classes on offer – the reason people get a buzz from going to the gym vary. Now that we’ve reopened, its time for gyms, studios, and leisure centres to offer more flexible access (in person, online, virtual) and prices to attract those ‘home to gym’ fitness converts and those returning members.”

About Xplor

Advent International portfolio companies Clearent and TSG have merged to form Xplor Technologies, a superior global platform integrating software, payments and commerce-enabling solutions to help businesses succeed.

Xplor offers enterprise software solutions for businesses in five fast-growing ‘everyday life’ industries: Education, Health and Fitness, Boutique Wellness, Field Services and Personal Services – and a global, cloud-based processing platform that allows clients to process payments seamlessly and securely for their services. With operations across North America, Australasia, Europe, and the United Kingdom, Xplor serves over 82,000 businesses that processed over $27 billion in payments, operating across 158 countries in 2020.

Xplor Health &Fitness serves the UK’s largest and most well-known gyms and leisure centres through its Xplor GymLegendClubwareDebit Finance Collections (DFC) and Harlands Group brands.

For more information visit https://www.xplortechnologies.com/

About the data

On behalf of Xplor, Decision Architects conducted an online study of 2001 respondents during March 2021. The sample for the study was defined as people who are members or regular attendees of gyms, health clubs, boutique fitness studios, leisure centres or sports clubs. Population estimates are made referencing the 2019 State of the UK Fitness Industry Report produced by Sport Think Tank.

Article by Xplor Technologies

First published: April 15 2021

Last updated: May 22 2024