The Fitness Industry’s Impact on Global GDP Estimated to Be $91 Billion

The health and fitness sector contributes up to $91.22 billion per year to global gross domestic product (GDP), according to a report from IHRSA and the Global Health & Fitness Alliance produced by Deloitte.

The “Economic Health & Societal Well-being: Quantifying the Impact of the Global Health & Fitness Sector Global Report” details the global fitness industry’s economic impact worldwide and by various countries. It was released at the 2022 IHRSA event last week in Miami Beach, Florida.

In the United States, the fitness industry has an economic impact of $35.847 billion on the economy, which consists of a $19.975 billion direct impact and a $15.872 billion indirect impact.

The global health and fitness industry experienced steady growth from 2009 to 2019, reaching a market size of $96.7 billion in 2019, according to the report. Despite the downturn caused by COVID-19 in 2020 and 2021, the industry is expected to resume its growth trajectory, according to the report.

The Asia Pacific and Latin American markets showed the most growth between 2017 and 2019. Asia Pacific grew 5.5 percent in 2017, 4.8 percent in both 2018 and 2019 while Latin America grew 11.9 percent in 2017, 10.6 percent in 2018 and 3.8 percent in 2019.

However, North America had strong growth of 5.7 percent in 2017 and growth of 2.7 percent in both 2018 and 2019.

The rate of health club memberships as a percentage of the working age population—or penetration rate—is highest in Sweden (34 percent of the population) with the United States close behind at 30 percent followed by the United Kingdom (23 percent), Australia (23 percent) and Germany (22 percent).

The report is a first-of-its-kind advocacy report in which the health and fitness industry targets governments to assist policymakers in making preferable decisions related to health and well-being and to improve population health and productivity worldwide.