Rise in UK's health and fitness businesses: Bradford and Glasgow buck the trend

While Simply Business data reveals a dramatic rise in health and fitness businesses in the last five years, two of the UK’s largest cities buck the trend: Glasgow and Bradford have actually seen a decline in the number of health and fitness businesses starting up.

The staggering rise in health and fitness-related businesses was reported by Simply Business earlier this month.

The number of people setting up as dieticians and nutritionists was up by 272 per cent between 2010 and 2015, and new gyms rose by 59 per cent.

Regional differences

The differences between UK cities, however, is arresting.

Leading the pack by a long way is London, which has seen an 89 per cent hike in health and fitness businesses. But the trend is by no means confined to the south of the country: in Leeds, there’s been a 57 per cent rise, and there’s been a 48 per cent climb in Edinburgh.

This makes the data from Bradford and Glasgow particularly surprising. Out of the country’s 10 largest cities, they’re the only ones that have seen numbers fall.

In Glasgow, new health and fitness businesses are down two per cent, and in Bradford they’ve fallen seven per cent in the past five years.

Top 10 largest cities in UK Increase in new health & fitness businesses
London 89%
Leeds 57%
Edinburgh 48%
Liverpool 44%
Manchester 40%
Bristol 37%
Birmingham 28%
Sheffield 27%
Glasgow -2%
Bradford -7%

A sign of the times?

But could the trends in these cities be linked to wider socio-economic patterns? Bradford and Glasgow are two of the places with the lowest life expectancies in the country.

Glasgow has been named as the place in the UK with the lowest life expectancy, with male life expectancy around six years below the national average.

Meanwhile, Bradford languishes at the bottom of the list for healthy life expectancy, which is the number of years you can expect to live in good health. On average, locals spend around 52 years feeling healthy, far below the national average of around 64.

On the other hand, the cities with flourishing health and fitness industries - including London and Leeds - are amongst the country’s wealthiest places, which could mark the health and fitness boom as a particularly middle class trend.

Ready to set up your cover?

As the UK’s biggest business insurance provider, we offer tailored insurance for health and fitness businesses of most kinds, from personal trainers to massage therapists and more. Start with public liability insurance to build a quick, tailored quote.

Start your quote