Dumbbell Economy Keeps Fitness Centers Going amid Pandemic | Be Korea-savvy

Dumbbell Economy Keeps Fitness Centers Going amid Pandemic


SEOUL, Oct. 12 (Korea Bizwire)Fitness centers are expected to grow despite the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to the so-called ‘dumbbell economy’ in which people invest to keep themselves fit.

KB Financial Group Inc., a major South Korean banking group, reported Sunday that the number of fitness centers in South Korea increased by 54 percent over the past 10 years.

As of July, a total of 9,900 fitness centers were found to be operating in the country, quenching social demand for work-life balance and a 52-hour workweek policy.

Fitness centers were less likely to go out of business compared to other ventures. Only 7.7 percent were found to have shut down last year, which is half the shutdown rate of internet cafes (15.7 percent) and cafes (14.4 percent).


Fitness centers are more resilient than other businesses since they require professional expertise as well as certification.

The coronavirus pandemic initially led to the shutdown of 66 fitness centers in February and 69 in March.

The number of fitness centers that went out of business from April to June (139 centers), however, was actually less than last year over the same period (176 centers).

Image Credit: Yonhap / photonews@koreabizwire.com

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