Source: IDEA Health & Fitness

SAN DIEGO, Dec. 4, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Since the August 2010 launch of IDEA FitnessConnect, the number of fitness professionals who claim to be certified-but who actually are not-has decreased to 36 percent, which represents a 20 percent improvement, according to a recent survey conducted by IDEA Health & Fitness Association. A primary goal of IDEA FitnessConnect, the industry's only fitness professional directory that verifies certifications, is to increase transparency within the fitness industry.

"It is very gratifying to know that we have made such a big change for the fitness industry in such a short time," said Peter Davis, CEO of IDEA Health & Fitness Association. "We have not only accomplished the change we envisioned but this is great news for the safety of fitness consumers everywhere."

In addition to increasing fitness certification transparency, IDEA FitnessConnect has doubled since launch the number of fitness professionals listed to over 250,000. It has also increased its certification verifying partners to more than 150, making it the single-most complete and comprehensive directory for health and fitness professionals in the U.S.

Since launching in 2010, over 3 million searches for fitness professionals have been made on IDEA FitnessConnect and 40,000 new client leads have been delivered to the listed fitness professionals. IDEA FitnessConnect is now ranked eighth in health and fitness-related sites on the web according to Alexa Internet.

IDEA FitnessConnect is a free resource for both fitness professionals and consumers to use. Over the last two years, IDEA FitnessConnect has greatly expanded the free tools available to fitness professionals to manage and engage with potential and existing clients.

"IDEA FitnessConnect's ease of navigation and free tools available are excellent to promote any fitness professional," said Michael Saiz, an ACE, AFAA certified personal trainer from Reno, Nevada. "I shut down my website at the beginning of 2012 because of IDEA FitnessConnect. I have had greater success and more new client inquiries than I did with my own personal website."

IDEA FitnessConnect is currently developing new client engagement features as well as expansion strategies for 2013 and beyond. In the near future, IDEA plans to expand IDEA FitnessConnect to include other wellness professionals such as dietitians, sports performance coaches, massage therapists, and more.

About IDEA Health & Fitness Association IDEA Health & Fitness Association is the world's leading organization of fitness and wellness professionals. We deliver world-class content and continuing education to fitness professionals through three channels: our five publications, including the award-winning IDEA Fitness Journal; our world-class fitness conferences; and hundreds of streaming videos and DVD courses available on our website www.ideafit.com. Through IDEA professionals in over 80 countries, we Inspire the World to Fitness®.

Emily Attwood is Managing Editor of Athletic Business.