Results – Key data of the Swiss fitness industry 2023

The fitness centers are growing again: every sixth adult is a member. The prospects are good; In 2022, the industry created over 1000 jobs.

Closures of fitness centers, cautious customers, restrictions on training – the corona pandemic had hit the Swiss health and fitness industry hard. Now the members are back in the centers and they train more often again. The mood among providers is positive, they are creating new jobs. That is the conclusion of the second comprehensive study on the key data of the Swiss fitness industry, presented by the industry association swiss active.

Together with the German University for Prevention and Health Management (DHfPG), swiss active has collected the key data of the Swiss fitness industry for the second time. The result is a representative quantitative study that creates market transparency. The reporting date was December 31, 2022. For the first time, the analysis includes comparative values over four years, some going back to the time before the pandemic.

The result is pleasing for the industry in every respect: Important parameters such as membership numbers, check-ins or staff numbers are all pointing upwards. In 2022, the industry recorded an increase in members of 11.7%. This means that the pre-pandemic level has almost been reached again. A total of 1.16 million people are members of a fitness center; that is almost every sixth adult.

The key data study also shows that more than every second center has increased membership fees as a result of rising costs for energy and other things. People in Switzerland are willing to invest more in fitness services and in their health.

Sarah Kobel, author of the study and head of the market research department at the German University for Prevention and Health Management (DHfPG): “We see a rethinking in society and a shift in people’s value system. Health is experiencing an enormous increase in importance, also due to the corona pandemic. This is also reflected in the health and fitness industry. The fact that people are willing to invest more in their health is an important finding, which once again characterizes the industry as an industry of the future.»

There is also more frequent training again: the check-in numbers are increasing significantly faster than the number of members. The training frequency per week will increase from 0.87 to 1.24 times in 2022. “That is even more important to us than the pure number of members,” says Reto Conrad, President of swiss active. “We interpret this in such a way that our members feel safe and comfortable in the centers again, which of course makes us very happy.”

The industry creates new jobs

In 2022, the fitness industry filled over 1000 new jobs. The industry employs a total of 26,687 people. This is an expression of the confidence of the employers: 75% of the operators already rate their economic situation as good or rather good, 99% expect an improvement in the next 12 months. Over 80% of the operators surveyed are even planning to increase the number of their centers for 2023.

Reto Conrad: “The 1000 newly created jobs underline the potential and attractiveness of our industry with its large variety of attractive job profiles. As an employer, we offer exciting career opportunities for apprentices, career changers and interested parties with an academic degree.»

Boom in personal training and nutritional advice

Among the services offered by fitness centers, three strong trends stand out:

  • Almost every second center now also relies on personal training (2021 approx. 33%)
  • Functional training also increased significantly – from 76 to 87%.
  • And finally, nutritional advice is becoming more and more established: while this additional service was only offered by 16.5% of the centers in the previous year, it is now 37%.

“Digital training, on the other hand, is losing importance,” says study author Sarah Kobel. «The industry is increasingly focusing on its core offer again: high-quality training on site in the health and fitness centers. Against this background, the development of membership and check-in numbers shows that people in Switzerland want exactly this service – on-site fitness training – and are increasingly asking for it. Based on this development, it can be assumed that the demand for the “fitness” service will increase.”

One of the important key figures is still declining: The number of centers fell for the third time in a row, but at 1.1% it was significantly less than from the end of 2019 to the end of 2021, when the minus was still a good 6%. The decrease is also an expression of the ongoing consolidation process in the industry. A similar development can also be observed in other markets, for example in Germany.

“After a difficult time, the fitness industry is looking to the future with confidence,” says Reto Conrad, President of swiss active. “The number of members is increasing, it will be again