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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: An economic argument

In addition to championing the health benefits of activity, the sector must now start to emphasise its power to drive the economy if we are to gain the policy support we need

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 2
A fit workforce is needed to drive the economy / photo: shutterstock/ BAZA Production
A fit workforce is needed to drive the economy / photo: shutterstock/ BAZA Production
There’s a strong argument for the sector to be connected to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Many of you will be aware that HCM has been driving a Parliamentary Petition with two demands – to get gyms open first after lockdown and for the government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme to get people back to fitness (if you’ve been supporting it, a huge thank you. The response has been tremendous).

And so my heart sank when UK prime minister Boris Johnson instead hinted at plans for the government to reduce taxation on beer, so people could get drunk more cheaply after lockdown.

If this kind of populism was accompanied by a commitment to rebooting the fitness of the nation, it would just about be bearable, but for the government to be considering pushing cheap beer, without there being sufficient focus on health and prevention, shows an appalling lack of leadership in the middle of a health crisis.

The mental and physical health impacts of lockdowns have been well documented – the increases in sedentary behaviour and obesity levels, reductions in fitness and escalation of mental health issues – but what lies behind these numbers is even more serious: a catastrophic rewiring of people’s behaviour patterns and a bedding in of sedentary routines that will be challenging to reverse.

It will require a huge effort to overcome the inertia of successive lockdowns and getting the nation moving again will be like restarting an oil tanker. A Work Out to Help Out subsidy would accelerate this process, enabling the fitness industry to deliver results far more quickly.

Tactically, we’ve made a very strong case as a sector for the health benefits of activity, with a £4 gain to the NHS for every £1 invested, but we think it’s now time to also start lobbying around the economic value of having a fit nation.

There are clearly vast economic challenges ahead as a result of the perfect storm of the pandemic and Brexit, meaning the health and vitality of the nation is critical to ensuring the workforce is ready and able to respond.

A sluggish workforce will not be able to compete effectively, so there’s a strong argument for the health and fitness sector in the UK to have a portfolio link to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in addition to the connection which already exists with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The hospitality sector has this two-ministry set-up and has achieved notable successes as a result of being thoroughly understood as a business sector. We should demand no less for the rapidly-expanding activity sector.

We provide mission-critical services which underpin the health of the nation, its happiness, vitality and economic prosperity and it’s time this was properly recognised.

To accelerate this process, we must now also produce evidence of the economic value of activity to the nation.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/376504_507560.jpg
The fitness industry must now start to emphasise its power to drive the economy if we are to gain the policy support we need, says Liz Terry
Liz Terry, Boris Johnson, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,fitness, activity, economics, fitness sector, work out to help out,
HCM magazine
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM magazine
Policing the rules, even if it means losing members, will be crucial to building trust as health clubs reopen, Paul Roberts tells Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
HCM People

Colin Grant

CEO, Pure Group
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Management
Katie Lewis and Lindsey Simpson co-founded Workplace Mental Wealth to drive workforce change in the health and fitness industry. Liz Terry talks to Lewis about their first research study – the Fitness and Active Leisure Workforce State of Mind Survey – and the launch of The Good Work Pledge
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Finance
New tax laws will hit the UK fitness sector in early April, changing the way freelance PTs are legally classified for income tax and national insurance, as Abi Harris reports
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Editor's letter
As health clubs around the world start reopening, controlling COVID-19 – while also delivering a great service to customers – must be an obsession for everyone in the sector
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Sponsored
Denbighshire Leisure is creating a range of new and unforgettable member experiences. MD, Jamie Groves, explains how a partnership with Technogym and Alliance Leisure has led to the creation of a raft of new offerings
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Policy
A new tracking tool, called Moving Communities, will assess the impact of the UK’s £100m National Leisure Recovery Fund, as well as evaluating the contribution public sector facilities make to their local communities, as HCM reports
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Facilities
Changing rooms have been largely closed during the pandemic, but as clubs open up, how will ongoing pandemic restrictions impact changing room design? We ask the experts for their observations and reflections
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Featured supplier news: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
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Company profile: EMD UK
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Fitness equipment
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Lockers/interior design
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Management software
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Independent service & maintenance
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Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
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Uniforms
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Spa software
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Exercise equipment
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Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Editor's letter: An economic argument

In addition to championing the health benefits of activity, the sector must now start to emphasise its power to drive the economy if we are to gain the policy support we need

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 2
A fit workforce is needed to drive the economy / photo: shutterstock/ BAZA Production
A fit workforce is needed to drive the economy / photo: shutterstock/ BAZA Production
There’s a strong argument for the sector to be connected to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

Many of you will be aware that HCM has been driving a Parliamentary Petition with two demands – to get gyms open first after lockdown and for the government to fund a Work Out to Help Out scheme to get people back to fitness (if you’ve been supporting it, a huge thank you. The response has been tremendous).

And so my heart sank when UK prime minister Boris Johnson instead hinted at plans for the government to reduce taxation on beer, so people could get drunk more cheaply after lockdown.

If this kind of populism was accompanied by a commitment to rebooting the fitness of the nation, it would just about be bearable, but for the government to be considering pushing cheap beer, without there being sufficient focus on health and prevention, shows an appalling lack of leadership in the middle of a health crisis.

The mental and physical health impacts of lockdowns have been well documented – the increases in sedentary behaviour and obesity levels, reductions in fitness and escalation of mental health issues – but what lies behind these numbers is even more serious: a catastrophic rewiring of people’s behaviour patterns and a bedding in of sedentary routines that will be challenging to reverse.

It will require a huge effort to overcome the inertia of successive lockdowns and getting the nation moving again will be like restarting an oil tanker. A Work Out to Help Out subsidy would accelerate this process, enabling the fitness industry to deliver results far more quickly.

Tactically, we’ve made a very strong case as a sector for the health benefits of activity, with a £4 gain to the NHS for every £1 invested, but we think it’s now time to also start lobbying around the economic value of having a fit nation.

There are clearly vast economic challenges ahead as a result of the perfect storm of the pandemic and Brexit, meaning the health and vitality of the nation is critical to ensuring the workforce is ready and able to respond.

A sluggish workforce will not be able to compete effectively, so there’s a strong argument for the health and fitness sector in the UK to have a portfolio link to the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, in addition to the connection which already exists with the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

The hospitality sector has this two-ministry set-up and has achieved notable successes as a result of being thoroughly understood as a business sector. We should demand no less for the rapidly-expanding activity sector.

We provide mission-critical services which underpin the health of the nation, its happiness, vitality and economic prosperity and it’s time this was properly recognised.

To accelerate this process, we must now also produce evidence of the economic value of activity to the nation.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/376504_507560.jpg
The fitness industry must now start to emphasise its power to drive the economy if we are to gain the policy support we need, says Liz Terry
Liz Terry, Boris Johnson, Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy,fitness, activity, economics, fitness sector, work out to help out,
Latest News
Health clubs and gyms will be able to open their doors to individual training sessions ...
Latest News
As health clubs and gyms reopen following lockdowns, it is "absolutely crucial" operators take a ...
Latest News
IHRSA and Fitness Brasil say they have signed a partnership agreement that will see the ...
Latest News
EuropeActive has joined the All Policies for a Healthy Europe (APHE) initiative, as part of ...
Latest News
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, ...
Latest News
World Leisure Organization (WLO) has opened the entry process for its International Innovation Prize. Now ...
Latest News
Health clubs, leisure centres and studios in England have opened today (12 April) for the ...
Latest News
A major new initiative will look to strengthen and unite the fitness industry's voice in ...
Latest News
A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health ...
Latest News
Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), ...
Latest News
Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Company profiles
Company profile: EMD UK
EMD UK is the national governing body for group exercise. Funded by Sport England, EMD ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Keiser UK Ltd
Keiser began its history of visionary sports science leadership over 40 years ago, rejecting the ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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