It’s a jungle out there and our gym survey discovered plenty of pitfalls for the unwary.
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  • Updated:12 Jul 2004



In brief

  • Some people raved about the staff and services at their gym, and about its positive impact on their health and lifestyle. Others thought their gym was more focused on making money than helping members.
  • The quality of service, facilities and staff seems to vary a great deal within the industry — see Every figure tells a story, for an overview. So know your rights and shop around before joining up.
Earlier this year, the Victorian Minister of Consumer Affairs issued a warning to examine gym contracts carefully before signing up. This was a response to a 32% increase in the number of complaints received by Consumer Affairs Victoria about gyms and the fitness industry.

Interested in discovering the scope and prevalence of consumer issues with regard to gyms, CHOICE conducted an Australia-wide online survey (see Our gym survey). We wanted to see if there were any areas of gym membership where particularly good or bad practices were prevalent, and to alert consumers to what to look for when joining.

Of the 948 survey respondents, the majority were happy with their gym and hadn’t had any problems.

However, a significant minority reported negative experiences, in particular high-pressure sales tactics, staff more interested in making money than providing instruction and advice, and neglect of medical risk responsibilities.


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