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Attendance behavior in fitness clubs


The transtheoretical model of behavior change (TTM) is often used to understand and predict health-related behavior. The objective of this study is to apply the TTM’s stages of change to examine patterns of attendance behavior at fitness clubs. A retrospective study was performed to study the later stages of change, using attendance data of members who cancelled their membership in 2012 in two European fitness chains, including 259,355 ex-members of 267 clubs. A sample of 400 was selected at random for analyses, M age¼32.1 yr. (SD¼10.9; 64% males) and 34.7 yr. (SD¼11.0; 51% males). Regular attendance behavior was defined by at least four visits per month. In the past, all ex-members had purchased a membership and by that were considered to have entered the preparation stage, but 19.5% had never attended the club in 24 months. Of the ex-members, 10% demonstrated regular attendance behavior for six months, and 2.3% had regular attendance for 24 months. 49% did not attend the club for one full month but started regular attendance again. Significant positive correlations were found in attendance behavior between the 6th and 12th months (r¼.61), and the 12th and 24th months (r¼.45), suggesting that ex-members who attended for more than six months were more likely to have maintained their attendance behavior. With only 10% of the members demonstrating regular attendance behavior, it is evident that appropriate strategies have to be developed to improve attendance behavior and facilitate exercise behavior in fitness clubs.