Howard (1992) examined U.S. adult participation in six sport and fitness activities for the period 1980 to 1989. This study extended Howard's research in a Canadian context for 10 sport and fitness activities for the period 1987 to 1996 using data from Print Measurement Bureau (PMB). Participation rates declined for 7 of the 10 activities over the 10-year period. Consistent with Howard's conclusions, usage-rate segmentation demonstrated that very small percentages of the Canadian adult population account for a large majority of total participation. Also consistent, 1996 participation rates split by gender revealed that women exhibit less participation, measured as percentages of all participants and among avid participants, as compared with 1987. Extending Howard's work, segmentation of participants based on age suggested that the older population in 1996 participated more than did the older population in 1987. Marketing implications, especially for reaching sedentary unresponsive markets, are discussed.
The authors are with the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada N2L 3G1.