From Gym to Health Hub
In recent years, a new term has been increasingly gaining traction in the fitness industry – the "health seeker."
But who are they, and what exactly are they seeking? At TANITA, we've recognized the importance of this emerging demographic in the fitness world and have used the term for some time to describe a unique group of gym members whose primary motivation is not aesthetics or fitness but rather a holistic pursuit of health.
In recent years, a new term has been increasingly gaining traction in the fitness industry – the "health seeker." But who are they, and what exactly are they seeking? At TANITA, we've recognized the importance of this emerging demographic in the fitness world and have used the term for some time to describe a unique group of gym members whose primary motivation is not aesthetics or fitness but rather a holistic pursuit of health.
Health seekers have often proven to be the most challenging group to engage with because their reasons for joining a gym are often quite vague, they just want to be ‘healthier.’ They’re also less knowledgeable about the equipment in the gym and have less interest in how many treadmills you have, or how heavy the dumbbells go. They have a different focus, meaning retaining them can be difficult without the right approach .
However, we've found that body composition technology and the wealth of health data it provides, such as muscle mass, body fat, visceral fat, water content, and metabolic age, can serve as essential tools for effectively engaging this specific demographic of gym members.
Focusing on different aspects of "health" is the key to motivating health seekers. When they can monitor and track their improvements in these areas, they tend to remain loyal members for more extended periods. A recent survey further underscores the existence of health seekers, revealing that 70% of over 5,000 participants wanted to become "healthier".* Reference: Click here to see the original article
The same survey also shows that 79% of the UK population feel their health has become more important over the last three years and 64% of people feel they don’t look after their health as much as they should.
It's worth noting that health seekers have always existed; they are not a new phenomenon. The challenge has been that they often didn't consider the traditional "gym" as their place of choice for achieving health. However, that doesn't mean gyms are not the right facilities to help and support these individuals.
Health seekers are looking for "health providers," and your gym could be precisely that if you give them the right tools. The issue here is that health seekers don't think of traditional gyms as health hubs; they associate them with heavy weights, muscle building, intense sweating, and the fear of being constantly judged. This misconception raises the critical question: what can you do to change this perception?
The solution is to reposition your gym as a "health hub" rather than merely a "gym." By doing so, you can tap into the remaining 85% of the population who may never be interested in a traditional gym membership, no matter how hard you try. To succeed in this transformation, you must align your offerings with the demands of health seekers, focusing on memberships centred around health, nutrition, and weight loss.
Regular body composition assessments are a potent tool in this transformation. Implementing regular "check-ins" or "Health Consultations" that include a TANITA assessment, facilitate a much better understanding of the member's specific requirements and targets, as well as nutritional guidance and personalised exercise routines or lifestyle tips, can create an entirely new offering. Importantly, this offering doesn't necessarily require the member to step foot onto the gym floor.
Engaging the Health Seeker has always been a challenge. This is where the magic of Metabolic Age creates an immediate impact. Health Seekers can identify clearly their health relevant to their actual age, this elicits an emotional response that generates motivation and accountability.
One specific health concern that is gaining increasing attention is Sarcopenia, the loss of muscle mass commonly associated with ageing. Many people are unaware of this issue, especially as they enter their 50s. Offering memberships that highlight areas like Sarcopenia, where TANITA body composition devices can monitor muscle mass and provide a "Sarcopenic Risk Indicator," can be an attractive retention tool for any "health hub."
The success of this transition largely hinges on getting the message out. If Health Seekers are not coming to you, you must go to them. Promote your gym as a "health hub" everywhere in your local area and especially to your current members. They too may fall into this Health Seeker category and be at risk of leaving, but if not, some of their friends or family certainly will. Extending the offer to the gym and making your current members aware of it can prove a very effective referral tool for those with partners, parents or friends that are looking to improve their health and quality of living.
The essential element is to make it clear that you are offering health support, not just fitness as they may perceive.
You and your staff’s qualifications and expertise, combined with the right technology, position your gym as the ideal place for people to seek advice on how to lead healthier lives. Your support is unparalleled, and as the word spreads about your "health hub" memberships, you can expect a surge in interest and engagement, potentially without needing to fill up the gym floor with extra bodies.
Health Seeker Stories
For even more information on ‘the Health Seeker’ check out Guy Griffiths’ podcast series ‘Health Seeker Stories’, featuring our own UK Fitness & Sport Lead Simon Wilkinson.
Testimonial on Health Seekers/MOT's
North Warwickshire Leisure, a leading local authority leisure provider in the UK, has set its sights on prioritising community health and wellness.
Focusing on Disease Prevention: The Health MOT initiative is about more than just 'cure'—it focuses on disease prevention and empowers individuals to lead healthier lifestyles
From a facility management and local authority standpoint, the TANITA scales are proving to be a game-changer. They enhance customer interaction and offer residents meaningful data to focus on improving their health, positively impacting customer retention rates.
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