Fit­for Life

Mini-gyms in res­i­den­tial ar­eas tap into the lu­cra­tive shared busi­ness trend

ChinAfrica - - Business -

LI Tianqi, 34, was de­lighted to find that two shared mini-gyms were re­cently placed in his res­i­den­tial com­pound. As a fit­ness guru, he has made work­ing out an im­por­tant part of his daily rou­tine.

On Na­tional Fit­ness Day, Au­gust 8, Miss­pao Mini­gyms, also known as shared gyms, were made ac­ces­si­ble through­out Bei­jing. Cov­er­ing 5 square me­ters, the air con­di­tioned gyms can be used at $1 per 30 min­utes and are equipped with a tread­mill, Wi-fi and a tele­vi­sion.

In­stead of trav­el­ing out­side of his res­i­den­tial area to use a gym, Li now has the con­ve­nience of us­ing one on his doorstep. “The cost of us­ing a mini-gym is far cheaper than go­ing to a con­ven­tional gym. It is well equipped and I can lis­ten to mu­sic or watch a film when run­ning in­side,” he said.

The past years have wit­nessed the Chi­nese pub­lic’s grow­ing pas­sion for sports and fit­ness ac­tiv­i­ties. Mini­gyms can help the el­derly and the young stay healthy, while giv­ing the na­tion a kick start to ex­er­cise more. and fit­ness fa­cil­i­ties avail­able is now an is­sue. The ris­ing in­ter­est in healthy liv­ing and reg­u­lar work­out is not matched with an in­crease in venues.

Ac­cord­ing to Nielsen, a global data re­search com­pany, in terms of gym den­sity, China is still far be­hind the United States which of­fers one gym for ev­ery 10,000 peo­ple. How­ever, the gym to peo­ple ra­tio is 1: 320,000 in China. Not only do older res­i­den­tial ar­eas lack ex­er­cise fa­cil­i­ties, but newly con­structed res­i­den­tial com­mu­ni­ties are also found want­ing.

Thus, China has a huge gap in the fit­ness ser­vice mar­ket. Zhiyan.org, a Bei­jing-based con­sult­ing ser­vice provider, said China’s fit­ness in­dus­try out­put value was 70 bil­lion yuan ($10.6 bil­lion) in 2015. In the next five years, the sec­tor is ex­pected to de­velop steadily and main­tain a 12-per­cent an­nual growth. By 2020, the value of the gym mar­ket is ex­pected to reach 123 bil­lion yuan ($18.6 bil­lion).

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