Prior to gyms reopening in May, we surveyed 10,824 gym members regarding how they felt about returning to their gyms and their memberships.
Four months later, we have surveyed 5,055 gym members to learn just how many members have returned since gyms reopened, plan to return moving forward, and have canceled their memberships. This survey was run on RunRepeat.com, between August 1st and August 13th.
- Only 30.98% of gym members have returned to their gym since lockdowns.
- 59.06% have canceled or are considering canceling their memberships(19.59% canceled, 40.11% considering).
- Consumer confidence in gyms has decreased since March, with:
- 22.35% fewer members returning to their gyms than had expected to by now
- 22.49% more respondents having already canceled or considering canceling their memberships than expected to in March
If interested in interviews or additional findings, please reach out to Nick Rizzo at firstname.lastname@example.org, otherwise, feel free to use these findings freely, we just ask that you reference this study with a link back to this post.
Since we have published more great studies like our new Fitness Trends 2021 report. You can also view our other gym, health, and pandemic focused research here:
- Scientific health benefits of exercise [Research Review]
- Quarantine weight gain: 35.82% Gained Weight During the Pandemic [19,903 Surveyed]
- Exercise is Up 88% During COVID-19 [12,913 Person Study]
- Gyms Reopening: 46.67% of Members Won’t Return [Study]
Global impact of COVID-19 on gym member return rates
Out of the 5,055 gym members that responded globally, only 1,566 (30.98%) have returned to their gym since they reopened.
Australia saw the greatest percentage of members returning with 52.80% having come back. The country with the lowest gym member return rate is America, with only 29.28% reporting that they have returned.
When asked about their memberships, 59.06% of respondents stated they have already canceled or are considering canceling their memberships (20.51% canceled - 38.55% considering canceling).
The UK had the highest gym membership cancellation rate (21.76%) while Australia had the lowest (15.20%). Canada had the highest percentage of members who are currently considering canceling their gym memberships.
In comparison to our original survey four months ago, 15.69% fewer gym members have returned than had planned and 22.49% more have either canceled or are considering canceling (8.12% more canceled, 15.93% more considering canceling)
The UK had the greatest difference in return rates, with 27.36% fewer members returning than had originally planned. The US saw the greatest increase in cancellations, with 10.12% having already canceled their membership as of May 1st to 20.56% as of August 13th (10.44% increase).
When asked about their plans regarding their gym moving forward, more than half of all gym members stated that they don’t intend to return to their gym (55.29%).
Australia is the only country where more than half of the respondents have plans to return to their gym moving forward (54.40%) while Americans are the least likely (42.85%).
State differences in gym member responses
States with the highest and lowest gym member return rates
(Note: This section excludes North Carolina, New York, and New Jersey due to gyms being unable to reopen statewide)
The return rate of gym members by state ranged from as low as 10.34% to as high as 52.11%.
States with 5 highest return rates of gym members:
- Tennessee (52.11%)
- Ohio (48.86%)
- Missouri (53.70%)
- Florida (45.26%)
- Colorado (57.50%)
States with the 5 lowest return rates of gym members:
- Maryland (27.17%)
- Washington (26.00%)
- California (18.01%)
- Arizona (11.27%)
- Michigan (10.34%)
States with highest and lowest % of gym membership cancellations
The percentage of gym members that have either canceled or are considering canceling by state ranged from as low as 45.06% (Tennessee) to as high as 67.77% (New Jersey).
States with the 5 highest % of gym member cancellations:
- Massachusetts (29.17%)
- California (25.29%)
- Colorado (25.00%)
- Texas (22.64%)
- Georgia (22.30%)
States with the 5 lowest % of gym member cancellations:
- Washington (16.00%)
- Tennessee (15.49%)
- Arizona (14.08%)
- New York (12.68%)
- Ohio (11.36%)
States with lowest % of gym members that plan on returning moving forward
At this point in the pandemic, the percentage of gym members that plan to return moving forward ranged from as low as 32.23% to as high as 54.55%.
States with the 5 highest % of gym members planning to return are:
- Ohio (54.55%)
- Tennessee (53.52%)
- Florida (53.16%)
- Minnesota (52.24%)
- Colorado (48.75%)
States with the 5 lowest % of gym members planning to return are:
- North Carolina (39.50%)
- Oregon (37.70%)
- California (34.67%)
- Massachusetts (34.38%)
- New Jersey (32.23%)