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Exercise and Fitness - Ireland - September 2016

“As the health trend in Ireland continues to accelerate we find this is making consumers more active in an effort to stay fit and healthy. However, the marketplace for gyms and fitness centres is changing as a result of the cost-cutting consumer mindset – leading to the expansion of no-frills ‘budget’ gyms. Although this opens up more opportunities to less affluent consumers, it seems that no-frills gyms are becoming a force to be reckoned with.”

– Emma McGeown, Research Analyst

This report looks at the following areas:

  • What is the gym industry worth in Ireland?
  • How many Irish consumers go to the gym?
  • What motivates consumers to visit the gym?
  • What are consumers interested in seeing next in gyms?

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Table of contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • Issues covered in this Report
      • Executive Summary

          • The market
            • Figure 1: Estimated consumer spending on gyms, fitness centres and sports club memberships, NI and RoI, 2014-18
          • Forecast
            • Market factors
              • Irish consumers’ exercise meets the NHS recommendation
                • Number of consumers with ‘healthy’ finances rises in Ireland
                  • Almost a fifth of Irish are members of a gym or fitness centre
                    • Rise of technology and exercise
                      • Competitive strategies
                        • The consumer
                          • A third visit a gym/fitness centre three or more days a week
                            • Figure 2: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, NI and RoI, June 2016
                          • Cardio training favoured
                            • Figure 3: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, NI and RoI, June 2016
                          • Improving general fitness is the top motivator
                            • Figure 4: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, NI and RoI, June 2016
                          • Jogging/running is the most popular sport outside of the gym
                            • Figure 5: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, June 2016
                          • Reduced rates at gyms for groups would encourage more visits
                            • Figure 6: Attitudes towards exercise and fitness, NI and RoI, June 2016
                          • What we think
                          • Issues and Insights

                            • What is the gym industry worth in Ireland?
                              • The facts
                                • The implications
                                  • How many Irish consumers go to the gym?
                                    • The facts
                                      • The implications
                                        • What motivates consumers to visit the gym?
                                          • The facts
                                            • The implications
                                              • What are consumers interested in seeing next in gyms?
                                                • The facts
                                                  • The implications
                                                  • The Market – What You Need to Know

                                                    • Gym membership expenditure set for rise
                                                      • Irish consumers’ exercise meets the NHS recommendation
                                                        • Number of consumers with ‘healthy’ finances rises in Ireland
                                                          • Almost a fifth of Irish consumers are members of a gym or fitness centre
                                                            • Rise of technology and exercise
                                                            • Market Size and Forecast

                                                                • Expenditure on gym memberships forecast 2% growth in 2016
                                                                  • Figure 7: Estimated consumer spending on gyms, fitness centres and sports club memberships, IoI, NI and RoI, 2014-21
                                                                • RoI consumers spending more on gym and fitness centres compared to NI consumers
                                                                  • Figure 8: Estimated consumer spending on gyms, fitness centres and sports club memberships, NI and RoI, 2014-21
                                                                • Sport accessories in demand
                                                                  • Figure 9: Estimated consumer spending on sports clothes (excluding footwear) and equipment, NI and RoI, 2015 and 2016
                                                              • Market Drivers

                                                                • Average minutes per week participating in sport or exercise
                                                                  • Figure 10: Average minutes per week participating in sport or exercise, by gender and age, IoI, 2015
                                                                • Rise in healthy finances
                                                                  • Figure 11: How consumers rate their current financial situation, NI and RoI, June 2015 and June 2016
                                                                • Current ‘health’ trend aids growth in gyms and fitness centres
                                                                  • Figure 12: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel fitter compared to 12 months ago’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                  • Figure 13: If consumers use private gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                • More sporting events could spike higher interest
                                                                  • Rise of technology and exercise
                                                                    • Pokémon GO combines gaming and exercise
                                                                    • Key Players and Innovations – What You Need to Know

                                                                      • PureGym’s no-frills approach is working
                                                                        • GymCo adds value with health experience
                                                                          • DW Sports seeks to target seniors
                                                                            • Virgin Active creates immersive spin classes
                                                                              • Fitness First goes digital
                                                                                • Scope for gyms to partner with healthcare providers
                                                                                • Who’s Innovating?

                                                                                  • UK Virgin Active launches immersive spin classes
                                                                                    • Fitness First goes digital
                                                                                      • PureGym partners with AXA
                                                                                      • Competitive Strategies

                                                                                        • PureGym
                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                            • Competitive strategy
                                                                                              • Latest developments
                                                                                                • GymCo
                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                    • Competitive strategies
                                                                                                      • Recent developments
                                                                                                        • DW Sports Fitness
                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                            • Competitive strategies
                                                                                                              • Recent developments
                                                                                                                • Think-Fit
                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                    • Competitive strategies
                                                                                                                      • Latest developments
                                                                                                                        • Curves
                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                            • Competitive strategies
                                                                                                                              • Latest developments
                                                                                                                                • FlyeFit
                                                                                                                                  • Key facts
                                                                                                                                    • Competitive strategies
                                                                                                                                      • Latest developments
                                                                                                                                        • Ben Dunne
                                                                                                                                          • Key facts
                                                                                                                                            • Competitive strategy
                                                                                                                                              • Raw Gym
                                                                                                                                                • Key facts
                                                                                                                                                  • Competitive strategy
                                                                                                                                                  • The Consumer – What You Need to Know

                                                                                                                                                    • Most visit a gym of fitness centre three or more times per week
                                                                                                                                                      • Cardio tops exercise equipment
                                                                                                                                                        • Top motivation for gym-goers is improving general health
                                                                                                                                                          • Jogging/running is the top exercise outside of gyms
                                                                                                                                                            • Reduced group rates appeal to Irish consumers
                                                                                                                                                            • The Consumer – Frequency of Gym/Fitness Centre Visits

                                                                                                                                                                • A third visit a gym/fitness centre three or more days a week
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 14: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                • Men seek higher frequency of weekly exercise
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 15: Consumers who typically visited a gym, fitness club or leisure centre 3 or more days a week, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 16: Consumers who currently use a private gym, fitness club or leisure centre, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                • A third visit a gym/fitness club one or two days a week
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 17: Consumers who typically visited a gym, fitness club or leisure centre 1-2 days a week, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 18: Consumers who currently use a private gym, fitness club or leisure centre, by age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                              • The Consumer – Activities/Equipment Used at Gyms/Fitness Centres

                                                                                                                                                                  • Cardio tops exercise equipment
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 19: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Millennials show high usage of cardio training in gyms/fitness centres
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 20: Consumers who have used cardio training equipment (eg treadmill) at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Weight training preferred by Irish men
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 21: Consumers who have used weight training equipment at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 22: Agreement with the statement ‘I avoid weight training equipment when I'm at the gym’, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Swimming appeals to parents
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 23: Consumers who had a swim session in the pool at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by age of children, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                  • Exercise classes appeal to women
                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 24: Consumers who have taken part in a group exercise class (eg yoga, Pilates, aerobics, spin etc) at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                • The Consumer – Motivations to Use Gyms/Fitness Centres

                                                                                                                                                                    • Health trend strong as top motivation is improving general health
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 25: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Improving general health/fitness strong among women
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 26: Gym-goers who agree that one of their top motivations for visiting gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres is to improve general fitness/health, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • Weight loss is an important motivation for women
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 27: Gym-goers who agree that one of their top motivations for visiting gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres is to lose weight/tone up, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 28: Percentage of RoI population estimated to be obese or overweight, by gender, 2010 and 2030
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 29: Percentage of the UK (including NI) population estimated to be obese or overweight, by gender, 2010 and 2030
                                                                                                                                                                    • Building muscle favoured by men and younger consumers
                                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 30: Gym-goers who agree that one of their top motivations for visiting gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres is to build muscle/strength, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                    • The gym seen as a place for escape and de-stressing
                                                                                                                                                                    • The Consumer – Exercise and Sports Participation Outside of a Gym/Fitness Centre

                                                                                                                                                                        • Jogging/running is the top exercise outside of gyms
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 31: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Younger consumers more likely to run/jog
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 32: Consumers who have engaged in jogging/running outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, by age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Retired least likely to cycle
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 33: Consumers who have engaged in cycling outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, by work status, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Football is the top sport
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 34: Types of sports consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 35: Consumers who have engaged in football outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, by gender, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Hiking/rambling offers appeal to most
                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 36: Consumers who have engaged in hiking/rambling outside of gyms, fitness clubs and leisure centres in the last 12 months, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                      • The Consumer – Attitudes towards Exercise and Fitness

                                                                                                                                                                          • Reduced group rates would encourage more participation
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 37: Attitudes towards exercise and fitness, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • Reduced group rates appeal to Millennials
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 38: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘Reduced group rates (ie with friends, colleagues) for gyms/fitness clubs might encourage me to use them more’, by gender and age, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • Less affluent consumers prefer to exercise at home
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 39: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to exercise at home (eg jogging/ using personal equipment)’, by gender and social class, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                          • Later/earlier fitness classes could suit workers better
                                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 40: Consumer agreement with the statement ‘I would take part in more sport/ fitness classes if they took place at times more suited to me (eg late night, before work hours)’, by work status, NI and RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                        • Appendix – Data Sources, Abbreviations and Supporting Information

                                                                                                                                                                          • Definition
                                                                                                                                                                            • Data sources
                                                                                                                                                                              • Generational Cohorts
                                                                                                                                                                                • Abbreviations
                                                                                                                                                                                • Appendix – The Consumer

                                                                                                                                                                                  • NI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 41: If consumers use private gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 42: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 43: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 44: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 45: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 46: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 47: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 48: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 49: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 50: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 51: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 52: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, NI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 53: Agreement with the statement ‘Reduced group rates (ie with friends, colleagues) for gyms/fitness clubs might encourage me to use them more’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 54: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to exercise at home (eg jogging/ using personal equipment)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 55: Agreement with the statement ‘I use a Fitbit/ Jawbone/ other type of tracking device to monitor my fitness’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 56: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to be able to give data from my fitness app/device to health/life insurance provider to lower premiums’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 57: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to mix and match sports and fitness activities rather than sticking to one activity (eg yoga and football)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 58: Agreement with the statement ‘I avoid weight training equipment when I'm at the gym’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 59: Agreement with the statement ‘I would take part in more sport/ fitness classes if they took place at times more suited to me (eg late night, before work hours)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 60: Agreement with the statement ‘I use online videos/blogs as part of my exercise regime (eg YouTube kettle bells class)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 61: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to pay more to be able to book gym equipment at specific times (eg 15-minute slot on treadmill)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 62: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in using virtual reality as part of my exercise (eg VR goggles simulating a run through the mountains while on a treadmill)’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 63: Agreement with the statement ‘I exercise/am more physically active compared to 12 months ago’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 64: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel fitter compared to 12 months ago’, by demographics, NI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                  • RoI Toluna tables
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 65: If consumers use private gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 66: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 67: How often consumers typically visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 68: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 69: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 70: Activities/ equipment used by consumers at gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres in the last six months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 71: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 72: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 73: Motivations by consumers to visit gyms, fitness clubs or leisure centres, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 74: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 75: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 76: Exercise and fitness activities that consumers have engaged in outside of gyms, fitness centres and health clubs in the last 12 months, by demographics, RoI, June 2016 (continued)
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 77: Agreement with the statement ‘Reduced group rates (ie with friends, colleagues) for gyms/fitness clubs might encourage me to use them more’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 78: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to exercise at home (eg jogging/ using personal equipment)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 79: Agreement with the statement ‘I use a Fitbit/ Jawbone/ other type of tracking device to monitor my fitness’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 80: Agreement with the statement ‘I would like to be able to give data from my fitness app/device to health/life insurance provider to lower premiums’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 81: Agreement with the statement ‘I prefer to mix and match sports and fitness activities rather than sticking to one activity (eg yoga and football)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 82: Agreement with the statement ‘I avoid weight training equipment when I'm at the gym’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 83: Agreement with the statement ‘I would take part in more sport/ fitness classes if they took place at times more suited to me (eg late night, before work hours)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 84: Agreement with the statement ‘I use online videos/blogs as part of my exercise regime (eg YouTube kettle bells class)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 85: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be willing to pay more to be able to book gym equipment at specific times (eg 15-minute slot on treadmill)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 86: Agreement with the statement ‘I would be interested in using virtual reality as part of my exercise (eg VR goggles simulating a run through the mountains while on a treadmill)’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 87: Agreement with the statement ‘I exercise/am more physically active compared to 12 months ago’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 88: Agreement with the statement ‘I feel fitter compared to 12 months ago’, by demographics, RoI, June 2016

                                                                                                                                                                                Companies Covered

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                                                                                                                                                                                Exercise and Fitness - Ireland - September 2016

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