Participation in Virtual Fitness Classes Can Boost On-Site Retention, Wexer Report Says

Offering virtual fitness classes can enhance member engagement and boost retention, according to a report released today by virtual fitness company Wexer, London, England.

In surveying 1,400 health club members, Wexer researchers found that 52.2 percent of virtual users visited their gym at least three times a week. Approximately 21 percent of virtual users had also been a member of their gym for more than a year, versus 15 percent of non-virtual users.

Sixty percent of those surveyed cited group exercise classes as a reason for joining their gym, and 40 percent of that group named virtual classes as an influencing factor.

These findings correlate directly with virtual class size, which have doubled in the last three years, according to the report. In 2016, nearly 55 percent of virtual classes enrolled over seven participants. This compares to 5 percent in 2014.

Cardio high intensity interval training is the most popular style of virtual fitness class, according to the report, and is selected by 67 percent of users. Meditation and mindfulness classes are also growing in popularity, currently selected by 44 percent of users, as opposed to 38 percent in 2014.

More than 75 percent of non-virtual users surveyed in the report said they would be willing to attend a virtual class at some point in the future.