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Thompson, Walter R. Ph.D., FACSM

doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e31823373cb

LEARNING OBJECTIVES From this article, the reader should understand the following concepts:

• The difference between a fad and a trend

• Worldwide trends in the commercial, corporate, clinical (including medical fitness), and community health and fitness industry

• Expert opinions about identified fitness trends for 2012

The annual ACSM’s Health & Fitness Journal® worldwide survey of health and fitness professionals, now in its sixth year, supported some previous trends, revealed two interesting new trends, and supported the removal of Pilates, balance training, and the stability ball as trends in the health and fitness industry after they dropped off the list from last year’s survey. Some trends that appeared in the top 20 last year did not make the list for 2012. There have been and perhaps always will be a number of attempts by profit and not-for-profit organizations to predict the future of the fitness industry in an effort to influence market direction. This ACSM investigation and analysis is much different in that it not only surveyed thousands of certified fitness professionals around the world but also sought out experts to comment on the results.

Walter R. Thompson, Ph.D., FACSM, is a regents professor of Exercise Science in the Department of Kinesiology and Health (College of Education) at Georgia State University where he has a second academic appointment in the Division of Nutrition (Byrdine F. Lewis School of Nursing and Health Professions) where he also serves as the executive director of the After-School All-Stars Atlanta. He has lectured on health promotion and fitness topics in 24 countries on 5 continents. He has served on the ACSM Board of Trustees and was twice elected a member of its Administrative Council. He is a past chairman of the ACSM Committee on Certification and Registry Boards and the CAAHEP Committee on Accreditation for the Exercise Sciences, and he currently is serving as the chairman of the ACSM Publications Committee, Chairman of the ACSM American Fitness IndexTM Advisory Board and Chairman of the NSF International Joint Committee on Health Fitness Facilities Standards.

© 2011 American College of Sports Medicine.