IHRSA Releases Startling Report: Urges to #SaveOurGyms & Issues Warning for Q2
The data shows 30% of studios closed, an 11% increase from the previous year
The IHRSA has released a grim report on the state of the fitness industry, revealing that as of January 1, 2022, 30 percent of studios have closed, an 11 percent increase from the previous year. The coalition is steadfast in its determination to persuade Congress to provide financial assistance to health clubs, gyms, and studios.
The latest data show that the pandemic is still wreaking havoc on the fitness industry, with facilities closing at “alarming rates.” According to the coalition, the latest IHRSA report demonstrates the industry’s desperate need for financial assistance.
IHRSA examined data and compared health clubs, gyms, and studios that were open from March 2020 to December 31, 2021, reaching the following conclusions based on third-party payment processing data:
- 25% of all health and fitness facilities closed
- 30% of studios closed (an 11% increase since January 1, 2021)
- more than 1.5 million industry jobs have been cut
IHRSA says this latest data proves that time is running out. “The new closure data is staggering, considering that 80% of facilities that permanently closed are small businesses which provide access to physical fitness and programming in small to medium sized towns and cities. The data underscores the dire threat gyms are facing and why Congressional action is vital,” Sami Smith tells Athletech News.
Liz Clark, President & CEO of IHRSA agrees. “Congress must act now to save America’s community gyms and studios. With each wave of the pandemic the small business owners in our industry keep getting knocked down, and because of past failures by Congress, each time fewer of them get back up. We can’t wait anymore, especially with the rise of additional COVID variants,” says Clark in the report.
Even more concerning, the IHRSA predicts that closures will increase in Q2 of 2022 as a result of Omicron, which had a negative impact on the normal gym membership surge in the new year.
Clark is disappointed that Congress has not taken action to support gyms, which assist 75 million fitness enthusiasts who use gym facilities and studies to stay healthy.
“With the CDC recommending physical exercise as a solution to combating the spread and severity of COVID-19, I am shocked that the Federal government has done so little to support neighborhood gyms and studios,” she says.
IHRSA is hoping to form a united front and is asking those in the fitness industry to help raise awareness by using the hashtag #SaveOurGyms in social media posts, but the organization ultimately wants recovery funding. The IHRSA has asked Congress to consider establishing a recovery fund similar to the GYMS (Gym Mitigation & Survival) Act, which provides grants to those in the health and fitness industry.
Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.