On Wednesday June 23rd EuropeActive hosted a virtual pre-event live-streamed from FIBO headquarters in Düsseldorf, Germany, as part of the build-up to the 2021 European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF) to unveil the key findings of the 2021 European Health & Fitness Market Report (EHFMR).

This eighth edition of the European Health & Fitness Market Report, covering the calendar year 2020, reveals the true impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fitness and physical activity sector. The pandemic caused governments to enforce multiple lockdown periods for fitness clubs, in some cases between 40% and 50% of operational days, and this is reflected by an unsurprising dip after decades of continuous growth.

According to the report, memberships dropped by roughly 10 million members or 15,4 % from 64.8 in 2019 to 54.8 million by year end 2020. Revenues decreased by 32,9 % to around EUR 18.9 billion, compared to the record year 2019 (28.2 Bn) with top 15 European fitness operators achieving total revenues of EUR 2.6 billion in 2020. The 20 largest operators saw their memberships reduced by 0.9 million (-7%) to 12.3 million compared to 2019. Total number of fitness clubs declined by 1,4 % to 62,775, a moderate decrease narrowly related to the financial support many governments provided to companies throughout the pandemic.

As with many other sectors, digitalisation and the broadening of the ecosystem accelerated in 2020. Significant growth has also been shown in home fitness equipment and accessories, digital products/services and outdoor solutions.

The confidence of investors in future growth opportunities and the success of the fitness and physical activity sector is demonstrated by the large sums invested during 2020 in the various segments of the fitness ecosystem through existing companies and startups, both online and offline. A significant portion of this investment is from big-tech, notably Apple, Google and Amazon. In 2020 16 major M&A transactions involving a total of 854 clubs were registered with 505 clubs changing ownership before March.

Commenting on the report Executive Director Andreas Paulsen said: "Over the past years 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 turbulent time".

The 2021 European Health & Fitness Market Report represents the most comprehensive report on the European health and fitness market and serves as a valuable source of information for industry stakeholders. This report was made possible by the generous support of Basic-Fit, BRP Systems, Exerp, FIBO Global Fitness, GO fit, Myzone, PureGym, Technogym and Xplor.

The full report is available for EUR 299 (EuropeActive members only EUR 149) and can be ordered through EuropeActive’s Knowledge Centre.

Purchase the report here


Jun 22, 2021 By Carlos Fernandez