Overview of the European Fitness Industry

The industry in Europe is the largest fitness market outside of the USA. Boasting 56 million members across 63,000+ fitness clubs, with total revenues in Europe exceeding €17 billion in 2021. There was a significant drop in fitness revenues during 2020 due to widespread, forced club closures to help slow the Covid19 pandemic. Revenues in 2019 peaked at €28 billion with 64 million members. However, the fitness industry has show strong signs of recovery during 2021 and 2022 and is growing once again. Future financial projections for the health and fitness industry are very positive. 

Across European nations the fitness industry is largest in Germany and the United Kingdom, followed by France, Spain, and Italy. These top 5 nations account for more than 60% of the total European market. The remaining 5 nations that make up the top 10 countries are the Netherlands, Poland, Sweden, Norway, and Austria.   

Top 10 European fitness markets

Across the European continent there are many different fitness organisations and companies who serve as the centres for health and fitness for the population. They provide a physical location and a range of fitness equipment for paying members to use. There are a number of companies who have grown and expanded to provides services to a large range of people, across many clubs, and sometimes across several different countries. Operators such as Basic-Fit, Pure Gym, McFit, SATS, Clever Fit, and David Lloyd Clubs are leading the way in the European fitness industry. There are many other operators that have succeeded in the the European fitness market and help to provide fitness opportunities to hundreds of thousands of members and jobs to thousands of fitness professionals. 

European fitness brands

Overview of the Global Fitness Industry

Market size of global health club industry
$ 0 bn

Number of health & fitness clubs worldwide

Number of club members worldwide

The global fitness industry has seen a steady trend of growth over the last decade. The total market size has increased 44% from €67.2 billion in 2009 up to €96.7 billion in 2019. The market grew every year except 2015 where there was a small global decrease. 

Despite the global downturn in the fitness industry as a result of the Covid19 pandemic, financial projections indicate that the it will quickly return to its pre-pandemic growth trajectory. 

Expanding fitness professional roles

The professional roles within the fitness industry have changed and developed during the period of wider industry growth over the past 30 years.

The general career categories for fitness professionals entering the industry now include the following opportunities:

  • Gym-based Fitness Assistants
  • Gym-based Fitness Instructors
  • Studio-based Fitness Instructors
  • Fitness Managers
  • Personal Trainers
  • Advanced specialist fitness professionals

Fitness industry education has developed over the years to support the developing roles needed within the fitness industry. European fitness education now offers formal vocational certifications that are mapped against the European Qualification Framework (EQF) between Level 2 up to Level 5.