People at gym

What does the average Australian spend at the gym?

The human body is an amazing thing when you really think about it, with no shortage of surprises when it comes to just how resilient it can be, and what it’s truly capable of. But when it comes to your health and wellbeing, can you really put a price tag on it? Well it turns out you can, with Aussies spending a pretty penny to keeping themselves fit and healthy by hitting the gym (or at least paying for the membership). But how much should you be spending, and are you actually getting your money’s worth? Canstar Blue wondered the same thing, so we asked close to 1,000 gym and fitness club members across the nation as to their gym habits, how much they’re spending, and how often they’re actually getting through the doors. Read on to find out what we discovered.

  • Aussies spend an average of $62 per month on gym memberships, or $744 over a year – noticeably down from $81 last year.
  • Adults aged in their 70s spent the most on keeping fit ($69 per month) while those aged in their 20s had the lowest gym costs ($55 per month).

Are gym memberships worth the money?

Considering that most of us are spending over $700 a year on a gym membership, are they really worth the money, and are Aussies making use of their memberships? In our latest customer satisfaction ratings, only three brands were rated five stars for value for money, while the majority were rated four stars, indicating that there’s room for improvement across the gym industry.

Some additional insights we found included:

  • 23% don’t use their membership as much as they thought they would, down from 27% last year.
  • 33% have tried more than one gym chain in an effort to find a place they really like, down from 39% last year.
  • 50% report feeling healthier for having a gym membership and regularly going to the gym, down from 56% last year.

Of course, we all go to the gym for different reasons, meaning getting value for money will mean different things to different people. But what is the driving force behind Aussies hitting the gym? Find out below.

What motivates Aussies to hit the gym

We asked survey respondents about their main motivation for maintaining a gym membership and found:

  • 37% just want to generally improve their general fitness
  • 23% go to lose weight
  • 16% go to build muscle
  • 15% go for their mental wellbeing
  • For the rest, it’s a mix of being a social activity, rehabilitation, or specific sports training.

Our research shows that most gym members (44%) attend the gym between three and five days each week, which is pretty good going considering how easy it is to come up with an excuse not to go! A quarter (24%) go once or twice a week, while 20% hit the gym five or six times per week.

Health experts encourage adults to get several hours of intense exercise every week for a range of health benefits, including cardiovascular and aerobic benefits. While some may lack the free time to diligently follow this advice, McMaster University in Canada did some research into ‘High Intensity Interval Training’ and discovered that ‘… just a few minutes of high-intensity exercise could be as effective as an hour of moderate activity’, meaning it’s not always about how often you go, but what you do with your time when you get to the gym.

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What is the most popular time to work out?

We found mornings to be the most popular time of day to hit the gym (30%), followed by evenings (27%) and afternoons (20%). 8% try to fit the gym in at lunchtime, while the rest just go whenever they can.

Many gyms are open 24/7, so you should be able to fit a quick workout regardless of the hour, helping to make the gym fit around your life, rather than the other way around.

Most popular gym work outs

We also asked our survey respondents what their regular gym workouts consisted of, with respondents stating the following:

  • 41% were hitting the weights
  • 24% stuck to the cardio section
  • 16% went to the gym for group fitness classes
  • For the rest, their regular workouts consisted of cycling, swimming or boxing or other activities.

With plenty of variety in the gym and fitness club market, there’s no shortage of options when it comes to get your blood pumping. Which gym you go to, and how much value you get from it, will depend on your preferences, as well as your dedication, as those who go more regularly may find they get better value for their membership cost, while those who frequently skip the gym may find it best to simply cancel their membership to save a few dollars. And with the rise of online classes and providers, a home workout isn’t too hard to get done as well, potentially saving you having to scramble for the equipment in a crowded gym!

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