Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Subscribe to Health Club Management
Get the latest news, jobs and features in your inbox
Health Club Management

Health Club Management


Editor's letter: A matter of life and death

Life expectancy in some Western countries peaked a decade ago and is now in decline, as modern life proves to be less than optimal for human health. Our biggest goal as an industry must be to play our part in reversing this trend

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 3
The industry can support people to extend healthy longevity / PHOTO: Olena Yakobchuk/SHUTTERSTOCK
The industry can support people to extend healthy longevity / PHOTO: Olena Yakobchuk/SHUTTERSTOCK

Given all we know about health and wellbeing and with increasing affluence and advances in modern medicine, you’d expect we’d be living longer, healthier lives with less disease and greater vitality.

However, statistics published last week by the UK’s Institute and Faculty of Actuaries show that life expectancy is falling in England and Wales. Actuaries say the decline began in 2010/11 as a ‘blip’ and has accelerated since to become a ‘trend’ and the biggest ever reduction in forecast longevity.

The Institute, which calculates life expectancy on behalf of the UK pension industry, now expects men in the UK aged 65 to die at 86.9 years on average, down from a previous estimate of 87.4 years. Women who reach 65 are forecast to live an average of 89.2 years – down from 89.7 years in 2018.

And the fall is accelerating – actuaries cut life expectancy in the UK by two months in 2018 and by six months this year – projections are down by 13 months for men and 14 months for women when compared with 2015.

This change is mirrored in other countries such as the US, where numbers released in November by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show the US in its longest period of generally declining life expectancy since World War II.

So what’s going on? Analysts propose a number of reasons for this accelerating trend, many of which are within our remit to address, such as bad diet, lack of exercise, stress and mental health issues. Factors vary according to age and social group, meaning we must tackle this challenge on many fronts.

On page 34, we talk to Steven Ward, outgoing CEO of ukactive, which has broadened its remit to battle inactivity and other health issues in all populations. He says ukactive’s work on physical inactivity has become part of public health policy in the UK and that great strides have been made, but there’s still the opportunity to do more with sections of the population that are not being reached and who remain inactive.

As the industry seeks greater involvement with the delivery of health interventions via government and its agencies, we must ensure that our role in delivering on the ultimate positive outcome – healthy longevity – is recognised and that we are able to demonstrate this as a provable outcome.

Imagine if we could show beyond doubt that people of all ages – whether children or people in end of life care – are able to live better and longer – by all measures – if they live well?

At the moment, statistics related to lifestyle are not routinely monitored at an actuarial level, but current trends indicate that this may one day be possible, as more life insurance and pension businesses recognise the power of healthy living to reduce health risks and increasingly factor this in to their actuarial equations.

We must make it part of our mission to focus our energies on reversing this trend and be able to demonstrate the impact of our work on people of every age and social group when we do.

Life expectancy in some Western countries is declining – we must play our part in reversing this trend, says HCM editor Liz Terry
Latest News
The UK health and fitness industry is healthier than it has ever been, according to ...
Latest News
People eating ultra-processed foods ate more calories and gained more weight than when they ate ...
Latest News
Wellness Week 2019 has kicked off in Romagna, Italy. The event will run from 17 ...
Latest News
Boutique cycle studio operator Flywheel has teamed up with Amazon.com to make its Flywheel Home ...
Latest News
Premium fitness operator Equinox will begin offering furnished office spaces adjacent to its high-end health ...
Latest News
Physical activity could be a major tool in battling rising levels of loneliness among young ...
Latest News
A new qualification focusing on mental health – one of the first of its kind ...
Latest News
Sports should be harnessed to help tackle knife crime and gang violence, according to a ...
Latest News
Fitness marketplace Hussle has revealed its first major deal since it changed its name and ...
Latest News
Fitness software startup Glofox has secured a US$10m worth of Series A funding. Led by ...
Latest News
The number of people dying prematurely from heart attacks and strokes in the UK has ...
Job search
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: MoveGB continues drive to put industry talent at its heart
Here at Move we’ve recently taken a pause for thought in the midst of continued growth.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Wattbike to redefine indoor cycling with two new products
Wattbike will launch two new products that offer a complete indoor cycling solution.
Member retention is a growing problem for long-established gym chains, who are battling the growing budget and boutique gym market.
Opinion: Are you trying to beat budget gyms at their own game?
Video Gallery
Harlands Group testimonial
Harlands Group
Harlands Group - Testimonial from 'The Hampton Health & Fitness Club'. Read more
More videos:
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
TVS has a broad portfolio of products, including high-performing shock pads, surfaces for sport, fitness ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Eleiko
We build upon our six-decade legacy in weightlifting, fuelled by our unwavering commitment to innovation, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
Physical Company Ltd: Fitness equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Total Vibration Solutions Ltd: Flooring
Governing body
EMD UK: Governing body
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Professional services
Deloitte UK: Professional services
Property & Tenders
New Brighton, Wirral, Merseyside
Wirral Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Various Sites
Porters Commercial
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22 May 2019
Lowry Theatre, Salford, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30 May 2019
Rimini Expo Centre, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
Search news & features:
Find a supplier:
Les Mills
Les Mills