Gyms and Fitness Clubs

Where Do You Fit In?


Harvey Lauer, president of American Sports Data, Inc., in a study conducted for the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association: A Comprehensive Study of American Attitudes Toward Health Clubs and Physical Fitness, identifies four levels of fitness consciousness. The study sought to identify people's physical activity levels along with the importance they put on exercise. As you read through these descriptions, think about where you place yourself.

People in the first level are called the "nonbelievers". They don't think exercise is important. They make up only 2% of the population.

Those in the second level are called the "indifferent." They make up about 16% of the population and feel that exercise is important, but just don't feel the need to get involved.

The third level comprises the largest population, totaling 63%. They are called the "uninitiated believers." They know exercise is important, but are inconsistent with physical activity. To their credit, however, they say they would like to participate more than they do.

Finally, we come to the population called the hard-core participants, otherwise known as "gym-rats." Hard-core participants make up 17% of the population. These are people who consider exercise very important and participate on a regular basis. They have made fitness a part of their lives. No matter what they do or where they live, exercise will be essential to them. They have learned to overcome the barriers we will be discussing in this book. Were you able to place yourself in one of these categories? If so, which one?

If you placed yourself in the category of nonbeliever, indifferent or uninitiated believer, then you are reading the right book. You belong to the more than 80% of the American population who need to make fitness a consistent part of their lives. You are in the majority! Wow, cool, huh? Not quite! This is a majority you don't want to be in.

Fitness Fact: Only 1 in 5 American adults engage in a high level of physical activity.