Americans spending $1.8 billion on unused gym memberships annually

Weird flex but ok, 6.3% of Americans have a gym membership they don't use.


Fact checked
A man lifting weights at a gym

Exercising more is the No. 1 New Year’s resolution for Americans this upcoming year. But after post-holiday reality sets in, it turns out that most give up on their lofty gym goals. Those shattered health dreams come at a high cost. According to recent research, roughly 5.1 million American adults flush a total $1.8 billion down the drain on unused gym memberships each year.

About 82.1 million adults spend an estimated $28.6 billion on gym memberships each year. And yet 6.3% of these aspirational gymgoers never end up using them.

Those who use the gym more than never but less than twice a week (43.8%) spend annually $12.5 billion of this $28.6 billion.

Americans “get after it”

Over half of all Americans (53%) pay for a gym membership, even if they aren’t using it. Of those with an active membership, roughly 41 million (49.9%) actually get to the gym at least twice a week. A further 24.2% make it to the gym at least once a week.

More people have never used their membership (6.3%) than those who either use their membership once a month (5.8%) or less than once a month (5.4%).

How often do you use the gym? % of respondents
Yes, twice a week or more 49.90%
Yes, less than twice a week but more than never 43.80%
Yes, I have one but don't use it 6.30%

Most Americans spend less than $30 on gym memberships

You can put a price on good health it seems, with almost half (45.7%) of American adults spending less than $30 a month on gym memberships. A further 32.1% are spending between $31 and $50 a month, while 5.4% are dropping $91 or more dollars every month on getting fit.

How much is your gym membership? % of respondents
Less than $30 45.70%
$31 to $50 32.10%
$51 to $70 10.80%
$71 to $90 6.00%
$91 and above 5.40%

The world is your gym

Not only do roughly half of all Americans hit the gym at least once a week, but they also work out at home, with 53.2% of those have gym memberships also owning some form of gym equipment.

Of those with gym equipment in the home, free weights are by far the most popular choice for home exercise equipment, followed by such cardio equipment as stairmasters or treadmills (55.81%) and skipping ropes (42.18%).

What gym equipment do you have at home? % of respondents
Cardio machines (treadmill, stairmaster, cross trainer, etc) 55.18%
Jump Rope 42.18%
Free Weights 63.47%
Pull-up Bar 25.99%
Exercise Balls 37.29%
Strength Machines 15.82%
Other 3.39%

Set up a gym in your house

With New Year’s Eve fast approaching, many Americans are coming up with their own resolutions. And it’s safe to say that getting fitter and healthier in the new year will be a top priority.

If you’re planning on joining a gym or getting fit in the home, look to to compare your options, from the top treadmills to the best exercise bikes available and more.

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