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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Build back fairer

The industry can be the catalyst for recovery from the pandemic, as well as addressing many of the underlying issues which enabled COVID-19 to wreak such havoc

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 5
We have the opportunity to ‘build back fairer’ / photo: shutterstock/halfpoint
We have the opportunity to ‘build back fairer’ / photo: shutterstock/halfpoint
New research by Nuffield Health found people in lower income groups face higher barriers to exercise

As the industry steps up to the task of rebuilding and adapting to post-lockdown realities, many are asking how we can learn, re-set and work towards a better future than the one we were originally destined for – in the days before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.

Significant parts of the sector are off and flying, with consumers flocking back to gyms, studios and health clubs and new investment coming into the market, which is fantastic news, however, the pandemic has exacerbated levels of social inequality and so it’s clear these benefits are not being universally enjoyed.

Too many people are still barred from staying active and new research by healthcare charity and health club operator, Nuffield Health – The Nuffield Health Healthier Nation Index – found people in lower-income groups face higher barriers to exercise.

Although cost was a factor, they were also more likely to say they were embarrassed, didn’t know where to start when it came to getting active, struggled with motivation, or didn’t have time.

People in the lowest income groups also scored at the bottom of the scale when reporting the status of their health, with 20 per cent on the bottom score compared with 11.5 per cent in higher-income groups.

Enabling opportunity for the less well off has traditionally fallen to the public sector rather than the private, but this clear-cut divide is increasingly blurry and today it’s just as likely that public sector offerings will be beyond the pocket of people in less well off social groups, while low-cost commercial offerings or those provided by voluntary organisations may actually be more accessible.

In this issue we’ve invited thought leader Martyn Allison (page 78), to share his views on how the public and trusts sectors can respond to the call for better and fairer access to both facilities and opportunities.

He highlights the fact that in 2019, ‘cost-recovery’ for the UK’s leisure centres stood at 107 per cent – up from 91 per cent in 2014 – meaning 62 per cent of facilities had moved to a position of making a ‘surplus’.

The flipside, however, was that use by people in the bottom two socio-economic groups fell from 62 per cent in 2014 to only 39 per cent in 2019. Effectively, austerity and changing models of provision have shut down options for many of those who need them most and made them more vulnerable to COVID-19 as a result.

So as we rebuild, there’s an opportunity for everyone working in the sector to find ways to welcome people from across our communities into our facilities – in a way that works for them – so the new world we build as we recover from the pandemic is more equal and we not only build back better, we ‘build back fairer’ as well.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/436777_630955.jpg
As we rebuild, there's an opportunity to find ways to welcome all communities into our facilities, says HCM editor Liz Terry
HCM magazine
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features

Editor's letter: Build back fairer

The industry can be the catalyst for recovery from the pandemic, as well as addressing many of the underlying issues which enabled COVID-19 to wreak such havoc

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 5
We have the opportunity to ‘build back fairer’ / photo: shutterstock/halfpoint
We have the opportunity to ‘build back fairer’ / photo: shutterstock/halfpoint
New research by Nuffield Health found people in lower income groups face higher barriers to exercise

As the industry steps up to the task of rebuilding and adapting to post-lockdown realities, many are asking how we can learn, re-set and work towards a better future than the one we were originally destined for – in the days before anyone had even heard of COVID-19.

Significant parts of the sector are off and flying, with consumers flocking back to gyms, studios and health clubs and new investment coming into the market, which is fantastic news, however, the pandemic has exacerbated levels of social inequality and so it’s clear these benefits are not being universally enjoyed.

Too many people are still barred from staying active and new research by healthcare charity and health club operator, Nuffield Health – The Nuffield Health Healthier Nation Index – found people in lower-income groups face higher barriers to exercise.

Although cost was a factor, they were also more likely to say they were embarrassed, didn’t know where to start when it came to getting active, struggled with motivation, or didn’t have time.

People in the lowest income groups also scored at the bottom of the scale when reporting the status of their health, with 20 per cent on the bottom score compared with 11.5 per cent in higher-income groups.

Enabling opportunity for the less well off has traditionally fallen to the public sector rather than the private, but this clear-cut divide is increasingly blurry and today it’s just as likely that public sector offerings will be beyond the pocket of people in less well off social groups, while low-cost commercial offerings or those provided by voluntary organisations may actually be more accessible.

In this issue we’ve invited thought leader Martyn Allison (page 78), to share his views on how the public and trusts sectors can respond to the call for better and fairer access to both facilities and opportunities.

He highlights the fact that in 2019, ‘cost-recovery’ for the UK’s leisure centres stood at 107 per cent – up from 91 per cent in 2014 – meaning 62 per cent of facilities had moved to a position of making a ‘surplus’.

The flipside, however, was that use by people in the bottom two socio-economic groups fell from 62 per cent in 2014 to only 39 per cent in 2019. Effectively, austerity and changing models of provision have shut down options for many of those who need them most and made them more vulnerable to COVID-19 as a result.

So as we rebuild, there’s an opportunity for everyone working in the sector to find ways to welcome people from across our communities into our facilities – in a way that works for them – so the new world we build as we recover from the pandemic is more equal and we not only build back better, we ‘build back fairer’ as well.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/436777_630955.jpg
As we rebuild, there's an opportunity to find ways to welcome all communities into our facilities, says HCM editor Liz Terry
Latest News
The government needs to urgently set out its plans to support physical activity and fitness ...
Latest News
Glofox will begin offering health clubs, gyms and fitness studios instant access to financing, following ...
Latest News
Hong Kong-based Bricks Group has revealed plans to launch its health club chain, U Time, ...
Latest News
A £30m luxury leisure development scheme which has been more than a decade in the ...
Latest News
Apple has previewed its much-awaited watchOS 8, the operating system for its Apple Watch. The ...
Latest News
Chinese health club chain Supermonkey has finalised a series E funding round, valuing the company ...
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Gymbox has signed a partnership agreement to provide members of flexible workspace provider WeWork with ...
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The number of health club members returning to gyms since lockdown has beaten all expectations, ...
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Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
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.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Active IQ launches two industry-ready health and fitness diplomas
Active IQ has launched two new qualifications – the Level 2 Diploma in Health and Fitness and Level 3 Diploma in Health and Fitness – to help engage learners in an industry-ready training experience that can be tailored to suit local employer needs.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active generates £342m in social value
Award-winning leisure operator Everyone Active generated £342million in social value at its sites across the country in 2019/20.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Everyone Active
Everyone Active operates leisure centres in partnership with local councils across the UK. Today, Everyone ...
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Company profile: Technogym
Founded in 1983, Technogym is a world-leading international supplier of technology and design-driven products and ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Precor: The power of networking
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Exercise equipment
Power Plate: Exercise equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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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