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Les Mills
Les Mills
Les Mills
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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
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Craig Cocking was appointed Life Fitness UK’s country manager in December, following over 13 years with the business. He reflects on the impact of the past 12 months and shares his views on the future of the industry
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HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
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A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
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Opinion
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The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Marc Jones joins Fitronics in new head of commercial role
Marc Jones has joined Fitronics, the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro, in a newly created role of Head of Commercial.
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Company profile: Jordan Fitness
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With an award-winning portfolio of over 450 pieces of cutting-edge, premium fitness equipment, Pulse Fitness ...
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
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Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
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Lockers/interior design
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Wearable technology solutions
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Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
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Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
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

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
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Latest News
A new pioneering approach looks to help cancer patients prepare for and respond to treatment ...
Latest News
Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ machines in the US, after striking ...
Latest News
Health club operator Bannatyne is repositioning itself as a wellness provider, as it looks to ...
Latest News
Health clubs and leisure centres in Northern Ireland reopened their doors on Friday 30 April, ...
Latest News
It's time to refocus on the changing needs of older adults, according to a new ...
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In breaking news, HCM understands that David Lloyd Leisure's Glenn Earlam will move from his ...
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Red light therapy improves sleep, aids recovery and enhances focus
Offering red light therapy to your members can create a valuable source of secondary spend, while also supporting them with their recovery and delivering improvements to mobility, circulation and muscle soreness.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Marc Jones joins Fitronics in new head of commercial role
Marc Jones has joined Fitronics, the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro, in a newly created role of Head of Commercial.
Company profiles
Company profile: Jordan Fitness
Jordan Fitness have been at the forefront of premium gym design, with a strong reputation ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Pulse Fitness
With an award-winning portfolio of over 450 pieces of cutting-edge, premium fitness equipment, Pulse Fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Funxtion
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
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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Les Mills
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