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FEATURE ARTICLE 2: HEALTH AND FITNESS CENTRES AND GYMNASIA
At the end of June 2005, the majority of fitness centres were in New South Wales with 306 centres. This is an increase of 62 centres from the end of June 2001. Queensland recorded the highest percentage increase of 61% for the number of fitness centres across the states and territories. There were 115 centres recorded at the end of June 2001, which increased to 185 at the end of June 2005. Among the other states to experience an increase in the number of fitness centres were Western Australia, with a 29% increase from 49 to 63 businesses and Victoria, with an increase of 8.9% from 157 to 171 businesses over the same period.
Data from the Service Industry Survey 2004-05 reported that the number of people employed in fitness centres nationally increased from 12,552 at the end of June 2001 to 16,871 at the end of June 2005 (34%). According to 2006 Census (ABS 2008 cat. no. 4148.0), the majority of persons employed in fitness centres are fitness instructors (13,800), followed by sports centre managers (3,406) and fitness centre managers (1,663). This was an increase over the levels reported at the 2001 Census for these fitness centre occupations: fitness instructors, 12,364; sports centre managers, 2,800 and fitness centre managers 1,163 respectively.
There is a difference in the number of persons employed in fitness centres according to 2006 Census data (18,869) and the 2004-05 Service Industry Survey data (16,871). Aside from the differences in timing, the Census collects information from every person in the population, whereas the 2004-05 Service Industry Survey collected information from businesses about their employees. The differences between the two collections is summarised in the table below.
HOW MANY PEOPLE PARTICIPATE IN FITNESS CENTRE ACTIVITIES?
The main activities provided by fitness centres that are measured in the ABS survey of Participation in Sport and Physical Activity are as follows:
Aerobics/fitness includes callisthenics, gym, exercise bike and circuits (ABS 2007 cat. no. 4177.0).
Pilates includes a system of exercises using special apparatus, designed to improve physical strength, flexibility, and posture, and enhance mental awareness. (Endnote 5)
Weight training is physical training that involves lifting weights. (Endnote 5)
Yoga is an ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation. (Endnote 5)
The ABS Multi-Purpose Household Survey (2005-06) provides data on the number of people participating in fitness centre activities. Of the 10.5 million Australian adult participants in sport and physical recreation in 2005-06, 2.0 million people (13% of the total adult population) participated in aerobics and fitness activities. More females than males participated with 1.3 million females (16% of the female adult population) compared to 745,000 males (9.4% of the male adult population). It is important to note that not all participants in aerobics/fitness may have undertaken this activity within health and fitness centres but may have undertaken this activity in home gyms, in public parks or at other locations.
In 2005-06, 177,000 people (1.1% of the total adult population) participated in weight training. The majority of persons involved in weight training were male (127,900) compared with females (48,600). The number of persons participating in yoga was 274,000. Nearly 249,000 females (3.1%) participated in yoga in 2006 compared to nearly 25,000 males. There were 125,000 people (0.8% of the total adult population) who participated in pilates and of these participants, the majority were female (121,000) compared with males (4,000).
ARE SOME PEOPLE MORE LIKELY TO PARTICIPATE IN FITNESS CENTRE ACTIVITIES THAN OTHERS?
A breakdown of fitness centre activities by age and sex can be found in the table below. All the percentages are expressed as a percentage of the age group population. The age / sex group most likely to participate in aerobics/fitness was females aged 15-34 years (21%) followed by females aged 35-54 years (17%) and males aged 15-34 years (13%). Pilates is predominantly undertaken by younger women (15-34 years) and women aged 35-54 years. Those more likely to participate in weight training are males in the 15-34 age group (2.7%) or the 35-54 years age group (1.5%). Females aged 15-34 or 35-54 years were most likely to participate in yoga (3.8% and 3.4% respectively).
1. McMurtie, R. 2007, The Skills Shortage, Australasian Leisure Management, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd., New South Wales.
2. Burns, P. 2008, Rich Man: Poor Man, Australasian Leisure Management, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd., New South Wales.
3. Evans, P. 2008, Training on the job, Australasian Leisure Management, Australian Leisure Media Pty Ltd., New South Wales.
4. Department of Employment and Workplace Relations 2007, Vacancy Report, August 2007, Australian Government, Canberra.
5. Oxford Reference, 'Gym', 'Pilates', 'Weight Training' and 'Yoga', Oxford Reference, Accessed 2 March 2009, <http://www.oxfordreference.com/views/GLOBAL.html>
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