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HAMPTON, N.H. (Sept. 5, 2019) – Planet Fitness, Inc., one of the largest and fastest-growing franchisors and operators of fitness centers in the U.S. and home of the Judgement Free Zone®, announced that more than 900,000 teens signed up for its national Teen Summer Challenge initiative, logging nearly 5.5 million workouts over the course of three-and-a-half months. The Teen Summer Challenge took place from May 15 through September 1, during which Planet Fitness opened its doors to high school teenagers ages 15 – 18 to work out for free at any of its more than 1,800 locations in the United States and Canada.
As the impetus for this initiative, Planet Fitness commissioned a national study* to find out how teens felt about health and fitness with key findings including:
- If There’s a Will, There’s a Way. 91 percent of teens want to stay active and healthy over the summer, but many of them simply don’t know where to begin. Additionally two in five (41 percent) of teenagers report that their fitness levels decrease over the summer when school is out.
- Teens Feel Intimidated about Fitness. Almost two in five (39 percent) say they don’t have enough guidance on how to exercise or where to even start (36 percent). Those who do work out, however, noted they feel more confident (47 percent), happier (43 percent), less stressed (37 percent) and less anxious (24 percent) overall.
- Fitness over Screen Time. More than one-third (36 percent) of teens wish to exercise more during their free time, which is greater than the number of teens who want to spend more time playing video games (27 percent), browsing social media (16 percent) or watching TV (16 percent).
- Improved Academics through Fitness. Especially timely given the start of the school year, there are also fitness benefits that parlay into academics; among teens who see improvements based on exercise (91 percent), two in five (40 percent) report that exercise helps them find more focus, with 23 percent directly attributing it to making them a better student.
“We were blown away by how many teens signed up for the Teen Summer Challenge and made the decision to get moving this summer,” said Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer at Planet Fitness. “There are so many benefits to teen exercise, far beyond just the physical ones, such as increased self-esteem and improved academic performance. We were thrilled to welcome teens into our clubs, encourage them along their fitness journey and help hundreds of thousands of teens realize these benefits as they form lifelong healthy habits.”
In addition to opening its doors to teens this summer, Planet Fitness also developed a fun full body workout tailored just for them as a source of inspiration and guidance, which could be further modified based on one’s fitness level. Planet Fitness’ certified trainers also led free group fitness sessions exclusively for teens all summer long to provide tools, insights and inspiration to help them succeed. This is especially important as Planet Fitness’ research found that while one-third (33 percent) of teens simply don’t know where to begin when it comes to exercise, almost two-thirds (65 percent) note they would go to the gym more often if they are able to work out with a friend or a buddy.
“The Teen Summer Challenge was a great program for teens, even for those who have never touched weights before or stepped on a treadmill,” noted Carl P., age 15, who participated in the Teen Summer Challenge at his local club in Rhode Island. “It motivated me to go to the gym and be the best ‘me’ I can be. Even as a young teen, it’s nice to know that I – and all my friends – have a place to work out where we feel like we belong.”
Finally, all teens in the United States and Canada who signed up were automatically entered into Planet Fitness’ Scholarship Sweepstakes. In the United States, 51 lucky teens across all 50 states and Washington, D.C., are in the process of being randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship, and one teen will receive a $5,000 grand prize**. In Canada, one lucky teen across each participating province will be randomly selected to receive a $500 scholarship toward academics or athletics, and one teen will receive a separate $5,000 grand prize***. Winners will be notified this month.
For more information on Planet Fitness and to locate any of its more than 1,800 Planet Fitness locations, please visit PlanetFitness.com/Local-Clubs.