ING Newsroom

Australians give their wallets a workout to keep up with ‘athleisure’ trend

Published on 29/08/2016
  • Australians spend $14.1 billion a year on active wear, health foods, supplements and the latest fitness fads
  • The average Australian will spend $1406 each year on keeping fit and healthy
  • 62 per cent of Australians have bought active wear in the past twelve months
  • Despite Australians shelling out big bucks on ‘athleisure’ clothing, 81 per cent do not have a current gym membership
  • Nearly one third of Australians will spend more over the next two years to maintain their fitness


Monday 29 August, 2016: Australia’s obsession with health and fitness has a hefty price tag, with Aussies spending at least $14.1 billion a year on active wear, gym memberships, health foods and the latest fitness fads, according to new research from ING DIRECT.

The ING DIRECT Cost of Health and Fitness Report reveals the average Aussie spends over $1400 a year to keep fit and healthy – a number set to grow, with 27 per cent planning to increase their spending over the next two years. Worryingly, the research indicated nearly one third (29 per cent) of Australians feel the cost of fitness has impacted on their savings and the ability to do things with their money.

John Arnott, Executive Director, Customers, at ING DIRECT said a passion for sport is ingrained in our DNA; however keeping fit shouldn’t blow the budget.

“While it’s positive to see Australians are being proactive when it comes to focusing on their health and wellness, it’s important to factor these costs into your weekly or monthly budget, just like you would with household bills like rent, groceries or electricity bills,” Mr Arnott said.

“Gym memberships, health foods, fitness equipment and workout apparel can all add up and it pays to keep your eye on these costs to ensure you’re not tipping the scales financially.”

 Gym memberships less of a priority as Australians drop cash on active wear and health foods

 It seems the introduction of Australia’s ‘athleisure’ trend has made an impact on personal bank accounts with 62 per cent of Aussies revealing they’ve purchased at least one piece of fitness attire in the past twelve months.

The research shows Gen X are more likely to give their wallets a workout with those aged 35-49 years old dropping the most cash on active wear ($300 pa) each year, followed by Baby Boomers ($254 pa).

“While one might expect Millennials to spend most on looking good while working out, our research found it was actually older generations who have been caught up in this athleisure trend,” Mr Arnott said.

As Aussies choose to spend money on fitness wear, it appears pumping iron in the gym is less of a priority with 81 per cent of Australians revealing they do not have a current gym membership – despite the fact that as a nation Australians spend $9.0 billion per year on fitness activities and gym memberships.

Meanwhile, the nation’s appetite for health foods is rumbling, with $248 million cash spent on vitamins and supplements in the past twelve months. The average Aussie spends over $500 a year on health foods such as kale, organic produce and coconut oil to eat clean.

 ING DIRECT’s tips for keeping fit and healthy while reducing the weight of financial burden


  1. Budget appropriately – just like household bills, ensure gym memberships, vitamin and supplement purchases, and necessary health foods are all accounted for in your weekly or monthly expenses.
  2. Trial alternative exercise routines – if you’re not breaking a sweat in the gym, your dormant membership is likely to be making your wallet perspire. ING DIRECT research found the average gym membership costs $57.40 a month (almost $700 a year). Instead of breaking up with your gym straight away, try putting your membership on hold for two weeks and test working out on your own. Is there a group of people you can round up for a weekend boot camp or a stay-at-home workout routine you can do via YouTube? Not only will it save you money, you might actually find simple hacks for a better workout that allow you to save.
  3. Shop the sales – keep your eye out for sales to purchase your next pair of running shoes or sports gear. Many fitness retailers have sales every six months to make way for their new season range, giving you an opportunity to snap up a bargain. Tip: look out for warehouse sales – not only do they sell the last season products at lower prices; you may pick up some new products from their sample range that have only minor imperfections.
  4. Sell off unused items – we’re not going to love every sport we try therefore parting ways with unused items like tennis racquets, bikes or kettlebells that are collecting dust in the garage can be a great source of income. Join ‘Buy, Swap, Sell’ groups in your local area on Facebook and see if a nearby neighbour is interested in buying your unwanted gear.
  5. Do more with your food – save money by using everyday household ingredients. For example, mix ingredients like honey, lemon and sugar to make a natural homemade glow scrub for your face and body. Add water and these ingredients can also be used for a home-made tea. Likewise, if you have veggies or fruit in the fridge that look like they’re not going to get eaten, cook them up and freeze for later instead of throwing them out.




Notes to editors:

The research was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of ING DIRECT in May 2016 and comprised an online poll of over 1,000 respondents.


Media contacts

Kallie Hunter, N2N Communications, 0411 143 963

Kristen Costandi, ING DIRECT, 0413 317 225



NG DIRECT changed the way Australians bank 16 years ago by launching the country’s first high interest, fee free online savings account. Since then, we’ve brought this low fee value to home loans, transactional banking and superannuation.


With over 1.5 million customers – and $34 billion in savings and $40 billion in mortgages – ING DIRECT has the highest Net Promoter Score of any bank.


Australia’s most recommended bank

Source: Nielsen Consumer & Media View Jul ‘15 – Dec ‘15 (n=9,552) when compared by customers of 14 other banks operating in Australia.

Media Enquiries

David Breen
Head of Corporate Affairs
0412 933 060

Megan Landauro
Public Relations Manager
0413 317 225

60 Margaret Street
Sydney NSW 2000

© Copyright 2021 ING.
ING is a business name of ING Bank (Australia) Limited ABN 24 000 893 292 AFSL/ACL 229823.
ING’s colour orange is a trade mark of ING and the ING Group of companies.