Typological model of fitness centers clients

Фотографии: 

PhD, Associate Professor Sh.F. Farakhutdinov1
Professor V.A. Sheregova2
1Tyumen Industrial University, Tyumen
2Tyumen State Institute of Culture, Tyumen

Keywords: fitness, typology, cluster analysis, sociological research, sports priorities.

Introduction. All-Russian research records a steady increase in the involvement of the population in sports life. According to the All-Russian Public Opinion Research Center, the share of athletes has increased from 61% in 2015 to 76% in 2017 (and those who do it regularly - from 16% to 23%, respectively) in the last two years [1]. Number of public spaces for physical training and sports is increasing, and a key role in their organization has moved to the business. Modern fitness centers are cost-effective enterprises, providing a comfortable environment for creating and maintaining good physical shape. The role of fitness in the lives of Russians increases, and demand significantly exceeds supply. The current trend is characterized by a twofold increase in the market over the past 5-7 years, and according to experts the situation will not change in the coming years[2]. The spread of fitness can be positioned as a factor in the formation in society of cultural values, enterprise, tolerance [4, p. 104].

The Russian market of fitness services is experiencing not only a quantitative growth, but also qualitative transformations. This is manifested, for example, in the gender specificity of the choice of training methods. Until recently, the vast majority of men preferred to practice in a gym, and women - in a group training room. Today, the situation is changing, and the mutual movement of men and women in different training zones indicates changes in the former model. Also, we can note changes in the age and socioeconomic structure of fitness clubs customers [1, p. 40].

Methods and structure of research. In February-March 2017, the authors initiated and conducted a study of customers of fitness centers in Tyumen using an online survey method. The questionnaire was designed in the SurveyMonkey service, and the link to the poll was distributed in the social network Vkontakte by means of targeted advertising. The target group consists of users who are members of Tyumen fitness centers. The number of respondents was 389 people. The sample size, according to the methodological literature, is sufficient for obtaining representative data [3]. The results were analyzed in the statistical package IBM SPSS Statistics 22.

Results and its discussion. One of the key objectives of the study was to build a typology of customers of fitness centers in terms of preferred types of occupations. In this connection, a hierarchical cluster analysis was carried out using the Ward method with the "Euclid distance squared" measure for binary variables. The dendrogram obtained as a result of the procedure made it possible to visually assess the character of clustering and identify six large groups of respondents (Figure 2).

Fig. 1. Dendrogram of cluster analysis with identification of types of clients of fitness centers

Interpretation of the results (Table 1) allowed to assign conditional names to each of the types, reflecting their preferences in choosing sports activities.

Table 1. The content characteristics of the results of cluster analysis

 

Types of members

1

2

3

4

5

6

Gym

100,0%

36,7%

61,5%

100,0%

5,6%

60,9%

Kinesis

1,6%

-

2,6%

7,1%

-

-

High-intensity programs

-

50,0%

44,9%

-

5,6%

100,0%

Low-intensity fitness

-

40,0%

33,3%

100,0%

66,7%

26,4%

EMS-fitness

-

-

7,7%

-

33,3%

-

Swimming pool

-

-

100,0%

39,3%

-

-

Dances

-

100,0%

14,1%

-

-

-

Total % of people surveyed

31,4%

7,7%

20%

7,2%

11,3%

22,4%

 

The first type was conditionally designated as "Classics". This is the most numerous group of clients, with approximately equal distribution on the floor. Its representatives are engaged only in a gym. Here a high percentage of professional athletes. Representatives of this group are moderately prone to comfort in clubs, and one of the most important incentives for attending classes is maintaining their form.

The second type of "Dancers" is a small group of clients of fitness centers, attending dance classes and combining them with other trainings. Mostly this type includes young energetic and emotional girls, many of whom are students (30.8%) or work on a free schedule (19.2%). They are not prone to the conditions in clubs, much more important than training, dating, communication.

The third type of "Aquarius" - to varying degrees, attend almost all types of training, but they all combine activities in the pool. They are oriented towards health and maintenance of the form and demonstrate high requirements to the club conditions, its size and brand, personal approach is important for them. Two-thirds of the representatives of this group of women (65.6%), and the average age is much higher than in other types.

The fourth type of "Combining" - the smallest group is distinguished by the fact that the customers in it alternate exercises in the gym with low-intensity fitness practices. Clients of this category are more focused on obtaining results from training than others. Here, the priority was given to weight correction and health care. Also, the share of those who focus on rehabilitation after trauma or maternity leave is high. "Combining" people are demanding for the comfort and qualification of coaches.

The fifth type of "Eco" is represented by women, for whom a careful (eco-friendly) approach is characteristic. Two-thirds of the representatives of this group prefer low-intensity fitness practices, and a third - EMS. Only a few extra go to the gym or are engaged in intensive group programs. As in the previous type, there are many "eco" people who are "rehabilitated", but have no priorities for achieving any goals. Here, the highest requirements for the qualification of trainers and the work of staff, clearly expressed sensitivity to the cost of club membership, brand and reputation.

The sixth "Intensive" type prefers high-intensity group sessions. Two-thirds combine them with gym sessions, and another third with low-intensity fitness practices. These are, as a rule, young people, a significant proportion of which are below average income. For them, the cost of the membership and the location of the club are very important. The main motive for attending classes is to look good.

The conclusion. The presented data were obtained as a result of a single survey, which does not allow to evaluate them in dynamics. Nevertheless, the results confirm the tendency of the researchers to gradually change the preferences of Russian club customers from "fitness for form" to "fitness for state", which has existed in more developed European and American fitness for a long time [2]. As seen from Table 1, it about half of club customers are oriented to classes with less intensive physical activity or combine intensive training with low intensity fitness practices.

Typology of customers of fitness centers can change under the influence of a number of factors, including: economic well-being, age characteristics, value orientations of the population of the country. Given that fitness performs important socio-cultural, economic and other functions in society, the structure of consumption of fitness services can serve as an indicator of the state of Russian society, characterizing not only the attitude of the population towards one's health, but also the level of spiritual development and the social maturity of society.

References

  1. Barteneva N.E. Gendernye osobennosti povedeniya potrebiteley na rynke fitnes-uslug: opyt empiricheskogo issledovaniya [Gender peculiarities of consumer behaviour in the market of fitness services: experience of empirical research]. Nauchnye diskussii, 2015, vol. 4, pp. 39-43.
  2. Bestavishvili T.G. Organizatsionno-ekonomicheskie faktory stanovleniya fitnes-kluba: tekst doktorskoy dissertatsii [Organizational and economic factors of establishment of fitness club. Doct. Diss.]. St. Petersburg: Nestor-Istoriya publ., 2015, 467 p.
  3. Kravchenko A.I. Metodologiya i metody sotsiologicheskikh issledovaniy. V 2 ch. Ch. 1. Uchebnik dlya akademicheskogo bakalavriata [Technology and methods of sociological research. In 2 Vol. Vol. 1. Textbook for bachelor degree course]. Moscow: Yurayt publ., 2017, 280 p
  4. Ryabchikov A.I. Fitnes i ego mesto v fizicheskoy kulture [Fitness and its place in physical education]. Teoriya i praktika fiz. kultury, 2017, no. 5, pp. 103-104.

Corresponding author: fshamil@mail.ru

Abstract

The goal of the paper was to allocate typological groups of fitness center clients in a large city. This issue is relevant in connection with the wide spread of the fitness industry that is gaining its social significance, due to the active involvement of people in sports life. The results of a survey conducted in Tyumen in spring of 2017 were analyzed. The hierarchical cluster analysis applied to an array of data obtained in the course of empirical research, revealed six types of clients of fitness centers with different priorities in the choice of sports activities. A brief description of socio-demographic features and specifics of consumption of fitness services for each of the selected types is given in the paper. The authors believe that the processes taking place in the fitness industry can be useful for estimating the state of the Russian society in general. The conclusion is made about the potential transformation of the existing classification and the need for further research that would make it possible to control the changing situation in dynamics.



[1] Press Release No. 3376 // The site of the All-Russian Center for the Study of Public Opinion https://wciom.ru/index.php?id=236&uid=116200

[2] "Healthy way of life became a trend" // The site of the publishing house "Kommersant" (https://www.kommersant.ru/doc/3275155 )