On Wednesday April 6th 2022 EuropeActive unveiled the key findings of the 2022 European Health & Fitness Market Report (EHFMR) during the 9th European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) held live in Cologne, Germany, with over 400 participants. The report represents the eleventh joint publication with Deloitte and reflects EuropeActive’s effort to further strengthen its position as the knowledge centre of the European fitness and physical activity sector by providing reliable and sound market data.
The EHFMR 2022 covers the calendar year 2021 and revealed how the pandemic situation continued to have a lock on the European fitness market in 2021. As governments implemented lockdown periods for fitness clubs that lasted through May in a majority of markets, operators lost up to more than 40% of operational days in 2021.
However, during the months of May and June 2021, re-openings were possible in most European fitness markets which lasted throughout the year and the first quarter of 2022, during which further obligations such as “Covid Pass” requirements and distancing rules were increasingly eased.
According to the report, European memberships increased by roughly 1 million members or 2 % from 55.2 million in 2020 to 56.3 million by year end 2021. The 20 largest operators saw their membership numbers increase by 0.7 million or 6% to 13.1 million compared to 2020. The top 3 brands per end 2021 in terms of membership were Basic-Fit (2.220.000 Members), RSG / McFit (1.691.000 Members) and PureGym Group (1.635.000 Members)
Entirely caused by the lengthy lockdowns, revenues decreased by 11,3 % to around EUR 17.1 billion compared to 2020 (EUR 19.3 billion). The top 15 European fitness operators, as measured by revenue, achieved total revenues of €3.1 billion in 2021. Total number of fitness clubs slightly increased from 63,059 in 2020 to 63,173 in 2021 (+0.2%).
In 2021, 19 major M&A transactions were completed, thus proving the continued interest of investors in acquiring shares in classic brick-and-mortar fitness companies. These transactions also underscore how club operators will continue to be at the heart of the sector's ecosystem moving forward.
New in this year’s EHFMR is an extensive chapter on the results of a dedicated large scale EuropeActive consumer research among 11.000 people in 19 countries conducted in January 2022. The results revealed that the sector is quickly getting back on track now that most restrictions for health and fitness clubs are lifted.
Commenting on the report, EuropeActive CEO Andreas Paulsen said: "The European Health & Fitness Market Report has become the gold standard for market research in the fitness and physical activity sector. And especially at this challenging and transformative time for our sector we need reliable data to factually evidence the impact of COVID-19 on our sector, and more importantly to evidence our sector’s positive and essential impact in our communities across Europe. I would like to profoundly thank EuropeActive Ambassador Herman Rutgers, our partners at Deloitte, our data-collection partners across the continent, as well as our generous sponsors, for this great and important accomplishment at a very challenging time. We are confident to reach our ambition of getting 100 million members of by 2030". 
The 2022 European Health & Fitness Market Report represents the most comprehensive study on the European health and fitness market and serves as a valuable source of information for industry stakeholders. This project was made possible by the generous support of:
The full report is available (excl. VAT) for EUR 399 (EuropeActive members only EUR 199) and can be ordered through EuropeActive’s Knowledge Centre.
Purchase the Report here.
Apr 6, 2022 By Ioana Marica