A report claims consumers are spending about R30bn on fitness, but it contradicts an earlier survey which ranked SA the unhealthiest country on Earth. Picture: Matthews Baloyi/African News Agency.
Cape Town - A report claims South African consumers are spending about R30billion annually on health and fitness.

Chief executive of FNB Life Lee Bromfield said: “The report shows that keeping healthy is a top priority for South Africans.”

This report contradicts a global survey published in March, which ranked South Africa the unhealthiest country on Earth.

That study said: “Scoring poorly on all measures, it is the scores on obesity, drinking and life expectancy in particular that make South Africa the unhealthiest country in the world in 2019.”

Looking at both reports, the question arises: if we are so unhealthy, how are we managing to spend R30bn on fitness and health?

Business manager at the Sports Science Institute of SA Rob Rayner aid: “Difficult to say, based on the statement, whether FNB is saying their clients only are spending R30bn, or if they forecast that the whole country is.

“I’m assuming they took the spend of their customers and extrapolated it to the entire SA population.

“If they did indeed extrapolate the spend to our population of about 57million people, it would mean the average South African spends about R500 to R550 a year on health and fitness, which obviously doesn’t make for quite as good a headline.”

Bromfield said: “The report, written by FNB Life, based its findings on the transactional behaviour of consumers who bank with FNB.”

Cape Town Ignite Fitness general club manager Eduan James said many people had every intention of living a healthier lifestyle, but did not always have the motivation to keep it going.

“Gym memberships are a luxury in this day and age, but it also depends on the gym you join because not all gym memberships are expensive.”

James said joining and dropping out had always been a massive trend in the fitness industry, especially at the outset. For people to get value out of their money, they should ensure they join somewhere where there is constant motivation.

“Most of the time, it is not the facility you join, but the community you become a part of.

“The best way to get value out of a gym membership is to enjoy attending the gym. People who become part of a community stay longer and attend more.”

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Cape Argus