Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2012

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Kinesiology


An exploratory study of group exercise participants was conducted to link group cohesion theory and perceived effects of social support to the retention of fitness club membership through building relationships. The study explored the level of group cohesion and social support experienced by participants in public group fitness exercise classes. In addition, participant loyalty was reviewed to understand membership retention based on group participation. A literature review was conducted to study previous research of group cohesive factors, social support and the role group exercise classes play in adherence to programs. Literature was also reviewed to understand effective membership retention efforts deemed successful by public, private and non-profit fitness centers. A case study was conducted at a medical non-profit fitness center. Data was collected to explore participants’ beliefs about their specific exercise class experiences. Participants had an opportunity to describe whether or not group activity is a retention factor in membership retention. Six group exercise participants were interviewed and asked about factors that affect participation in particular classes. Interviews were administered to six facility members from six specific classes. Six group fitness instructors from those specific classes interviewed were asked to journal their perception of the group interactions amongst each other as well as with the instructor. The results were used to aid in the retention efforts of the host facility and to train the group fitness instructors on the factors that influence their participants both positively and negatively.

Included in

Kinesiology Commons



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.