Private health club operators have seen no let up in membership levels in spite of the downturn, according to figures published by The Leisure Database Company, a consultancy.

In a sign health-conscious Britons may be more reluctant to forgo their gym memberships than one would have expected, LDC said private health and fitness clubs had seen a one per cent like-for-like increase in membership numbers during the 12 months to the end of March.

"The industry is showing remarkable resilience," said David Minton, director of LDC. "In times of a recession, people are seeing exercising as a way to release stress and the gym as a place to network. This is especially true for those who are unemployed or [are] working fewer days."

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