Tara Dosh, PR Manager
ANYTIME FITNESS RELEASES THIRD ANNUAL “WEIGHT OF THE UNION” REPORT
Bad News: Obesity Stunts Economic Growth, Threatens National Security
Good News: Incentivizing Fitness Leads to Surge in Gym Visits
Hastings, MN, February 13, 2012–The United States is the wealthiest nation on earth, but devotes a greater percentage of its GDP to health care than any other country, according to a report released by Anytime Fitness. In fact, $147 billion a year is spent in direct medical costs related to obesity. If that money were to be reallocated, America could invest in five hundred thousand newly built homes, 1.6 million full college scholarships, or 35 billion healthy meals.
The economic impact of obesity extends beyond rising health care costs to include $153 billion per year in lost productivity to companies, and $1 billion per year in medical care for active duty members.
These statistics are part of the third annual Anytime Fitness "Weight of the Union" report, which examines the macro implications of obesity on the nation’s health, and provides recommendations to curb the growing epidemic.
Anytime Fitness is the world’s fastest-growing fitness franchise, with nearly 2,100 locations in more than a dozen countries.
To view the full report, click here:
“We’ve reached an unhealthy tipping point in America,” says CEO and co-founder of Anytime Fitness Chuck Runyon. “The report is a sobering reminder that the state of the nation’s health is still very weak, but there are meaningful steps we can take towards reclaiming our health – chief among them: increasing incentives to encourage and reward physical activity.”
In December, 2012, Runyon spearheaded a coalition of Minnesota-based fitness clubs – “FitMN” – which proposed:
- Providing tax incentives for businesses to pay for fitness club memberships for their employees.
- Allowing individuals and families to use pre-tax dollars from their Healthcare Spending Accounts (HSAs) or Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs) to pay for fitness club memberships
- Allowing expenses an individual incurs for wellness services, in the form of dues, fees or membership expenses (up to $500 per individual or $1,000 per family annually) to be subtracted from the individual’s adjusted gross income.
Money really does influence behavior. An internal Anytime Fitness case study concluded that from October 2011-October 2012, members in MN and WI who were reimbursed $20 per month as a reward for visiting the gym 12 or more times per month, exercised four times as often compared to members who did not receive $20. Members who received $20 reimbursements averaged 12.4 workouts per month, whereas, members who were not reimbursement averaged 3.1 workouts per month.
In 2012, Anytime Fitness members saved nearly $5 million in reimbursements from their benefits providers, a 25% increase compared to the previous year.
About Anytime Fitness
Founded in 2002, Anytime Fitness is the fastest-growing fitness club franchise in the world, with more than 2,000 clubs serving nearly 2,000,000 members in more than a dozen countries. Open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, Anytime Fitness prides itself on providing its members with convenient and affordable fitness options in friendly, well-maintained facilities which feature top-quality exercise equipment. Clubs are now open in 49 states, Canada, Mexico, Australia, New Zealand, England, Scotland, Grand Cayman, Poland, the Netherlands, Spain, Qatar, Japan and India. Join one club and use them all. Members in the U.S. also enjoy free access to AnytimeHealth.com, the most comprehensive wellness website available.
Weight of the Union Infographic