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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email: healthclub@leisuremedia.com

Published in Health Club Management 2017 issue 10

It’s time for GP training to include more physical activity education and for PTs to be taught about medical conditions

Dr Dane Vishnubala
Dr Dane Vishnubala
Dr Dane Vishnubala,

Chief medical adviser,

Active IQ


A recent survey carried out in the UK stated that GPs are not confident discussing physical activity with patients. According to the article, 80 per cent of GPs say they don’t know the exercise guidelines and 55 per cent report never receiving physical activity advice training.

Clearly, this is not good enough, and as a GP, I agree that this gap in knowledge must be addressed. This is a key reason the Physical Activity Clinical Champions Programme was set up by Public Health England.

Now in its second year, its aim is to equip all health professionals with the knowledge and skills required to advise on physical activity.

While improving the physical activity knowledge of medical professionals is vital, increasing the medical knowledge of physical activity specialists is also necessary if the UK is to seriously tackle the growing chronic disease and inactivity problem. PT qualifications are a good place to start. The public would benefit greatly if all PT qualifications, not just advanced or exercise referral ones, were reworked to include training on common chronic diseases.

Active IQ is already leading the way on this issue, having added a number of common chronic diseases into its recently updated PT qualifications. And as the chief medical adviser at Active IQ, my role ensures that fitness professionals are kept up-to-date with the latest research and evidence.

Inactivity is a problem that is not going away anytime soon. If health care professionals and PTs commit to working closely together, we can push our respective service standards higher and move closer to our goal of making the nation healthier.

“80 per cent of GPs say they don’t know the exercise guidelines and 55 per cent report never receiving physical activity advice training”

GPs could give advice on beneficial exercise habits / shutterstock.com
GPs could give advice on beneficial exercise habits / shutterstock.com

There’s a lot that can be done to improve the nutritional value of food and drinks at health clubs

Chris Rinder
Chris Rinder
Chris Rinder,

Sales director,

Parkwood Leisure


It was interesting to read the Food for Thought article in the September edition of Health Club Management (p80), which explored how operators can encourage customers to make healthier food choices.

The article raised an issue that’s often overlooked in our industry despite the clear importance of nutritious food options in health-focused settings, like leisure centres.

This a key priority at Parkwood Leisure, and to that end there has been a gradual move towards healthier options, both from a local authority client and customer point of view, in recent years.

A key consideration is, of course, maintaining the convenience that is a key appeal of traditionally unhealthy fast foods. However, we have tried to tackle this over the last 18 months by introducing familiar grab-and-go nutritious choices, including wraps, salads and fruit pots, in our venues, as well as adding portable snacks, such as hummus and quinoa crisps, fresh juices and coconut water to our vending machine offerings.

While providing healthy food is important, we’ve also found that supporting our members to eat nutritious meals at home is vital for achieving their health goals. For example, we’re currently working with a company called Muscle Foods to sell protein-based raw foods, including chicken and steaks, so members can conveniently pick up the ingredients for a nutritionally balanced meal after their workout and cook it at home.

These are just a few examples of how the nutritional value of foods offered to health club members can be improved. Plenty more can be done to build on this, but the most important thing is to take action sooner rather than later.

“A key consideration is, of course, maintaining the convenience that is a key appeal of traditionally unhealthy fast foods”

Nutritious food offerings can also be convenient / shutterstock.com
Nutritious food offerings can also be convenient / shutterstock.com
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Do GPs need physical activity education?
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