Why they spend?
One of the reasons why Australians spend so much money on fitness is primarily to fight the flab. Close to one million Australians spend over $25 per week in gym membership fees alone.
The Suncorp Bank Cost of Being Fit report, states that Australians spend $8.5 billion a year on gym memberships, sports equipment and fitness fads, which equates to approximately $2340 per household. Most importantly the report found that over half of Australian households don’t even know that they are spending that sort of money and massively contributing to Australia’s very profitable fitness industry.
More than 4.6 million people in Australia have gym memberships and they are increasingly engaging in a variety of workouts ranging from wellness to high intensity exercise.
What the Industry offers to users?
The Australian fitness industry provides an endless array of products and services to improve people’s fitness. These include gyms, personal trainers, pools, exercise equipments, sports clothing, running shoes and nutritional supplements. According to IBIS World (MacGowan, 2011) in 2011 - 2012, the fitness industry recorded a total revenue of $2.9 billion and its 7281 individual businesses generated profits of $229.6 million and wages of $1.2 billion. The industry is forecasting to have an annual increase in revenue of 3.6 per cent.
The increasing sales of Fitness Equipment
The desire to get fit and stay healthy is reflected in the sales of sport and fitness equipments; the fitness equipment industry has been one of the strongest in the Australian sports market with revenues growing annually like clock work (Datamonitor, 2010).
Fitness First’s national marketing manager, Samantha Bragg stated that January is the prime time for Aussies to sign up to gyms and follow through with their new year’s. Every year, people make New Year’s resolutions with the aim to become fit and healthy; this is a major factor that contributes to increased revenue throughout the entire market.
The Sports industry in Australia
People are including fitness into their increasingly busy and time-fragmented lifestyles in order to achieve personal health objectives. Joining and participation fees in aerobics, running, walking, along with gym membership, have all increased over the past decade. People are increasingly opting to go for a run when the opportunity arises, rather than committing to non-flexible sporting event.
Being more health conscious
Australians are becoming more health conscious. We are increasingly playing sport to get fit, rather than getting fit to play sport. There is strong demand for extreme sports videos on the internet and television. These sports are also finding their way into the Olympic Games; with a recent addition being BMX cycling, introduced at the Beijing 2008 Olympics. International associations for skateboarding and rock climbing are making substantial efforts to have these included as Olympic sports in the future.
How Australia is performing internationally?
In the international arena, Australia’s performance is outstanding in terms of fitness revenue figures. Australia is ranked in the top 10 ten countries of total Olympic Gold Medals won. In cricket, rugby, swimming, cycling, netball, sailing and many other sports Australia excels on the international stage. Sports have a great economic significance in Australia. The sports sector directly employs 75,000 people, which equates to one per cent of the total workforce. Every year Australian households spend some $8.4 billion on sporting services and products. The export of sporting goods has in average amounted to $442 million per year over the past seven years (ABS, 2011e). The future of sports and fitness seems to be bright in Australia and if the government, communities and industry play their part their in no decrease in sight.