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| News & Know How | News Personal Training Insights Fitness Industry Survey identifies trends and opportunities CDC Concerned About Children Kids’ physical activity and fitness levels continue to slide I t’s shocking and worrisome. Most American children continue to get little exercise, and their fit- ness level also appears to be declining every year, according to research by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), as reported in The New York Times. Epidemio- logical studies suggest that physical activ- ity among kids peaks before age 10––some- times as early as two––and then drops off. Gordon Blackburn Less than one-third of young people ages 12 to 18 participate in the recommended levels of physical activity for their age group––about an hour of exercise per day. In another study, which considered fitness levels, researchers at the CDC examined the National Health and 20 Club Business International | Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a database of American health habits, and combined that data with physical testing. Less than 34% of the girls had fitness levels within the “healthy zone,” com- pared with about 50% of the boys. Ethnicity and family income seemed to play little role in their fitness levels, according to the data. When the researchers compared the fitness of that group to a group of similarly aged youngsters tracked between 1999 and 2004, they found that, since 2004, the average fitness level of the boys and girls had declined by about 10%. The health implications are serious, experts agree. “Thirty years ago, we would not have expected to see 12-year-olds with symptoms of cardiac disease,” Gordon Blackburn, the director of cardiac rehabilitation at the Cleveland Clinic, told The Times. “Now we’ve had to start a pediatric preventive cardiology clinic.” —| NOVEMBER 2014 | ihrsa.org > Since 2008, the Fitness Industry Survey has involved more than 20,000 club owners, managers, and members from across Australia and New Zealand. And, in 2014, the survey was expanded to include fitness facilities in Hong Kong, Singapore, and Malaysia. The findings have identified a surprising trend: a largely untapped market for personal training (PT) in these five areas. More than half of the gym member respondents (54%) have never used the services of a personal trainer. Apparently, PT has been consid- ered a “luxury” that only celebrities and elite athletes could afford. However, in Australia, that senti- ment seems to be fading. The survey notes that, each year, thousands of new personal trainers are graduating from the 100-plus registered training organizations in the country. Still, the survey revealed that, while 46% of Australian club members have tried PT, they use their trainer, on average, for three or fewer months. Most stop booking sessions due to the cost. Ryan Hogan, the CEO of the Australian Fitness Network, one of the country’s leading fitness education providers, believes that, to increase utilization, clubs need to offer a wide variety of programs led by qualified trainers at different price points. —| Download the Free IHRSA App: ihrsa.org/app