The first National Audit of Fitness Consumers will give public and private facilities information about their user base in the context of their catchment area, helping them to develop a strategy to bring in more users.
Sport England, the exercise promotion body set up by the government, is hoping that the data scheme will help it to measure as well as meet its target of improving the level of exercise participation in the UK by 1% annually.
It recently launched a nationwide campaign to encourage people to build exercise into their everyday lives, featuring Jonny Wilkinson and Nell McAndrew.
The scheme is also backed by the Fitness Industry Association, which represents 1,700 public and private health clubs and fitness centres.
Harm Tegelaars, FIA vice-chairman, said: "We have had intelligence about members of private health and fitness clubs for several years but not the users of public fitness facilities. Information gained from this initiative will greatly enhance our understanding of the types of people attracted to fitness activities and help us plan more effective member recruitment strategies."
The customer profiling service will be provided to centres by The Leisure Database Company, which will use Experian's Mosaic consumer classification.
David Minton, director of The Leisure Database Company, said: "We can tell how well usage reflects local demographics, what current penetration rates are among specific social types and, crucially, what the potential for participation is. The results would show how well current pricing policy and programming is working towards social inclusion."
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