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A pilot study in determining the status of the health and fitness industry in Turkey

Sekendiz, Betül
Before Turkey starts lamentation about her residents̕ poor state of health due to lack of regular physical activity, the fitness facilities should be recognized as means of exercise and recreational activities for all. Yet the lack of studies regarding the status of the health and fitness industry of Turkey such as the credentials of education and certification of the fitness professionals surges the fitness industry into the unknown. The purpose of this study was to investigate the status of the health and fitness industry in Turkey. In order to investigate the current status of the health and fitness industry in Turkey, a pilot study was conducted to adopt the أSurvey of the Health and Fitness Industryؤ developed by Dean Mantia (2000). Participants (N=167) were queried in the areas of business operations, professional development, growth opportunities and consumer influences. Using SPSS frequency counts and percentile rankings were used to analyze and compare responses of the three sub-groups (18 % managers, 62 % instructors, 20 % consumers) that were surveyed. The findings of the study demonstrates that although the industry seems to be in a rapid growth phase, there are problems that would not allow the future success of the industry. The consumers overestimate the credentials of the fitness professionals, and at the same time quickly withdraw if their goals are not met. The industry lacks standardization, and regulations are not adequate to save it from abuse. Although the Bodybuilding and Fitness Federation emerged as the major certification body, it holds less than half (38 %) of the industry, and lacks trust and respect by the fitness professionals due to illegalities. The industry is driven by fad and fashion and the role of the media, and marketing practices seems to be underrated despite their educational value to make the consumers take responsibility of