Industry Press Release



Research Targets Sports/Recreation Participation, Consumer Sports Spending, & Role of PE

Silver Spring, MD (March 18, 2010) — Seven of the major governing bodies and trade associations in the sports, fitness, outdoor, and leisure industry have formed a research partnership — The Physical Activity Council (PAC).  The goal of the partnership is to identify key trends in sports, fitness, and recreation participation in the USA.  These trends will appear in the Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Participation Overview (2010 edition).


The partners in PAC are listed below:

  1. IHRSA 617-316-6773
  2. National Golf Foundation (NGF) 561-744-6006
  3. SnowSports Industries America (SIA) 703-556-9020
  4. Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association (SGMA) 301-495-6321
  5. Tennis Industry Association (TIA) 843-686-3036
  6. The Outdoor Foundation 202-271-3252
  7. United States Tennis Association (USTA) 914-696-7000

The website for The Physical Activity Council (PAC) is:

Copies of the Sports, Fitness, and Recreation Participation Overview (2010 edition) can be downloaded from    

“The purpose of this unique partnership is to create a single set of data which accurately measures national interest in fitness activities, competitive team sports, individual pursuits, and general recreation,” said PAC Chairman Tom Cove (president Sporting Goods Manufacturers Association). “More than 40,000 Americans were interviewed online, making this the most accurate and reliable sports and leisure participation study ever conducted.”


The Big Picture’ story from the Overview is that just over 104 million Americans are frequently involved in a high or medium-calorie burning activity.  That’s a plus.  On the other hand, far too many Americans are not as active as they could and should be.  Right now, more than 92 million Americans are infrequent participants in some form of fitness, sports, or recreation.  And nearly 65 million Americans are not taking part in any form of exercise or activity at all.  That’s a negative.

The decision to participate in many activities is largely motivated by consumers who want more value’ from the time they spend working out, playing sports, and engaging in recreational experiences.  As a result, participation gains were steady for activities that are relatively affordable and can be enjoyed by groups such as fishing, camping, hiking, bicycling, and running.  Also, group exercise classes such as high-impact aerobics, low-impact aerobics, and step aerobics — had solid participation gains in 2009.

Another one of the findings of this report is the relationship between a physically active lifestyle and exposure to physical education classes while attending school.  There’s a positive connection between participating in PE and having an active lifestyle:

  1. PE Pays Off.  For toda