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Question
Posted by: Natasha | 2007/04/04

Research relating to gym peak hours

I am a third year BSc student and I am doing a research paper on ways to reduce the number of members visiting gyms during peak hours. Unfortunately I have not been able to find any research on this and associated problems. Could you suggest any website where I get info, and research surveys on gyms in South Africa?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageFitnessDoc

Hi Natasha

I'm afraid not. I can honestly say that there is very little out there on the SA Fitness industry, and it leaves a gap that needs to be filled. But there are not many statistics about the collective industry. What you might try to do is contact a couple of Virgin Active gyms and see if they will give you a week's worth of statistics - they obviously have the ability to track gym entries and so can probably provide you with a breakdown over the course of a day. That would be a big start.

The project sounds interesting, I'm curious about what the question is, considering it's a BSc project - sounds like you are looking more into management than science, though it may form part of a larger project? I think that one thing you have to bear in mind (I hope this is relevant) is that for a gym, the gym has a certain level of costs whether or not people are there. In otherwords, they have to pay a certain number of staff, and have certain costs that are independent of how many people actually use the gym. So there is a strategy, often, to get as many members as possible into a gym programme, because these people will be paying (and thus adding to the profits of the gym) even though they may not attend - therefore, it boils down to strategy. It's no co-incidence that gyms are overcrowded during peak hours - it's done on purpose because they see this as a benefit of economies of scale. So the best thing to do is to attack the strategy, or try to reposition it so that gyms start to realise the value of having a committed base of people who attend the gyms, then they will be able to decrease over-crowding. Somehow you have to figure out a way to do this without cutting down their profits though and that's the challenge.

Good luck

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Our users say:
Posted by: Xing | 2007/04/04

Here's some suggestions:
- incentivise people into using gyms at non-peak hours (e.g. points gained; costs reduced; free personal trainer etc.)
- initiate more classes or programmes that run at differing times during the day
- longer opening hours
- marketing campaigns e.g. beat the traffic in the morning rather go to gym. Work with occupational health personnel at companies to enourage flexible work hours to accommodate a corporate gym program for employees.
etc...

Reply to Xing

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