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Classifying Exercise Facilities, Fitness Instruction and Sports Medicine Specialists

October 13, 2021

Some common operations are performed at exercise facilities, fitness training programs and medical practices that specialize in sports medicine. Here, we will review the characteristics that define and distinguish fitness-related operations assigned to Classifications 9053(2), Health Clubs or Gyms; 8870, Fitness Instruction Programs or Studios; and 8834, Physicians’ Practices and Outpatient Clinics. 

Employers assigned to Classification 9053(2) include membership gyms and health clubs that provide space and exercise equipment, including but not limited to cardiovascular equipment, weight machines and free weights. While gyms and health clubs often have instruction-based fitness classes, the defining characteristic of Classification 9053(2) is gym or club facilities that are available for at-will use by clients for the majority of operating hours. In other words, customers can use the facility even if they are not attending fitness classes. 

Classification 8870, Fitness Instruction Programs or Studios – all employees – including receptionists, applies to employers engaged in operating fitness studios or fitness training programs primarily offering scheduled fitness classes where space and exercise equipment is not available for use by clients at-will during the majority of operating hours. Examples include studios or programs for martial arts, gymnastics, dance and yoga. While these employers may have some time designated for customers to use the facility at-will, the majority of time the facility is used for scheduled classes; most fitness studios or fitness training programs offer little or no at-will use of an athletic facility or gym. Classification 8870 also applies to personal training and specialized coaching by employers not engaged in any facility operations, such as independent golf and tennis instructors.  

Medical professionals and practices that specialize in physical therapy and sports medicine use equipment and exercises that may resemble equipment and exercises that are otherwise associated with Classifications 9053(2) and 8870. However, because the operations pertain to providing physical therapy and medical treatment to patients, Classification 8834, Physicians' Practices and Outpatient Clinics, applies. Classification 8834 does not apply to the operation of a membership gym, health club, fitness studio or similar facility for use by customers to promote general fitness. 

The complete description for each classification is available through the Classification Search tool on and through the following links:


Report on the Study of Athletic and Fitness Instruction, Exercise Facilities, Clubs and Baths