Under the microscope: harnessing the power of data in the health and fitness industry for 2019

Under the microscope: harnessing the power of data in the health and fitness industry for 2019

A wise man once said that being 5% more accurate can make you 5% more profitable.

How’s the leisure industry faring? Well, thanks to ongoing data, we know that…

  • There are upwards of 7000 gyms in the UK
  • Nearly 10,000 memberships have been purchased
  • As of March 2018, 275 new fitness facilities had opened in the last 12 months. An increase from 272 in 2017.

Why are these particular facts important? Aside from the obvious potential to use them in meetings and sound all-knowing, that is.

Data gives you a hugely advantageous glimpse into the state of your industry. Research shows that companies who gain insights into customer behaviour through data analysis outperform their competitors by 85% in sales growth. From ongoing commercial growth, to penetration rates, you can gain a huge advantage on your competition by staying in the loop.

The health and fitness industry is not set to put the brakes on yet. In 2019, we can expect a host of new and exciting trends (some of which are listed below) that your members are going to want to be a part of. We can take an educated guess as to what these are, but through data we get accurate intelligence.

What data is worth tracking?

From a personal perspective, it’s arguably more important to track and monitor your own organisation’s data than that of the overall industry. After all, what is the main goal of any organisation, be it a charity, public sector, privately owned or a sole proprietorship? To turn a profit. In order to do this, you need to be willing to understand customer behaviours and adapt.

Tim Bainton, founder and managing director of business development for Blue Chip Sports Management, suggests that the following goals are the key to turning data into revenue:

  1. Maximizing revenues per person
  2. Maximizing client retention
  3. Increasing new members
  4. Optimizing your product mix
  5. Optimizing your time

Your first job needs to be working out how you measure your goals, be they the above or your own. Everything from seasonal fluctuations, attrition rates and transactional data will help you work to improve these metrics. Once you’ve attributed methods for quantifying each goal, then you want to put progression plans in place.

For example, you might want to look at your marketing efforts. You could be using all your energy to onboard new members, which will certainly be beneficial for number 3. But are you doing enough to retain them, and are goals 1 and 2 suffering as a result?

It all sounds relatively common-sensical but we’re all busy human beings, and it’s easy to push important jobs like data management and futureproofing down the priority list.

What trends should you look out for in 2019?

Thanks to data, we can easily hypothesize what trends to expect in 2019. Here’s the  top five, according to the Worldwide Survey Of Fitness Trends For 2019

  • Wearables and fitness trackers – more and more gyms are purchasing smart equipment that allows members to track biometric readings, take part in competitions and more.
  • Group training – certainly not a new concept, but the numbers of people partaking in group fitness has shot up dramatically over the last couple of years. Could it be worth adding even more studios in your facilities?
  • HIIT – equally, HIIT’s popularity has been on the rise long before we reached the outer fringes of 2019. But it looks as though it’s going to continue flourishing well into next year and beyond.
  • Medical fitness/fitness for older adults – more and more older people, or sufferers of conditions like diabetes are turning to fitness in a bid to manage their health and wellbeing.
  • Bodyweight training – bodyweight training didn’t appear on the trends list before 2013. Since taking its place, it’s grown in popularity and will continue this into 2019.


Xn Leisure is a leading software management solutions provider for the leisure industry. Take a look at Xn Leisure’s extensive catalogue of IT solutions to efficiently manage customer flow here

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