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15 Oct 2019

GWI report: global physical activity sector worth US$828bn
BY Tom Walker

Among the report's findings is that the global fitness industry is now worth US$109bn (€99bn, £86bn)

Among the report's findings is that the global fitness industry is now worth US$109bn (€99bn, £86bn)

The physical activity economy is now a US$828bn (€752bn, £655bn) market – and its value is expected to grow further to US$1.1tn (€1tn, £870bn) by 2023.

The figure comes from a large-scale economic study by The Global Wellness Institute (GWI), published on 15 October.

In the report, called Move to be Well: The Global Economy of Physical Activity, the physical activity economy is described as incorporating fitness, sports, active recreation, equipment, apparel/footwear, technology and mindfulness activities.

Among its findings is that the global fitness industry is now worth US$109bn (€99bn, £86bn) – and that the sector continues to be "fast and furious" in its growth.

The growth is attributed partly to the fitness sector's innovation and its ability to devise new approaches. The report lists the likes of HIIT and CrossFit as "recent additions" to the sector's offer.

Another finding is that the average "global participant" spends US$384 (€349, £304) yearly on fitness and gyms.

"Health clubs and gyms have experienced tremendous global expansion over the last decade, with over 50 per cent growth in revenues from 2007-2018," the report reads.

"In 2017, GWI estimated that the fitness and mind-body sector was worth US$595bn."

The report values the other segments of the physical activity sector as follows:

• Sports and active recreation US$230bn
• Apparel/footwear US$333bn
• Equipment and supplies US$109bn
• Mindfulness activities (yoga, tai chi) US$29bn
• Technology US$26bn

When it comes to average spend on physical activity by person, North America (US$1,345) and Europe (US$528) lead the way, followed by the Middle East and North Africa (US$181) and Asia Pacific (US$171).

Other findings include that, globally, the top twenty markets account for 86 per cent of all physical activity spending.

Not all of the spend, however, is on getting physically active.

"In many large markets, spending on apparel and shoe purchases can greatly exceed spending on actual physical activity participation, such as in the United States, France, Brazil, India, and South Africa," the report states.

"In other countries, such as South Korea, Australia, and the Netherlands, the opposite is the case.

"The rate of participation in recreational physical activities varies widely among the top markets, ranging from a high of 84 per cent in Australia and Taiwan to a low of 15 per cent in India."

• To download and read the full report, click here.



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