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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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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
Wellness tech firm Timeshifter has launched a new circadian app for shift workers, allowing them ...
Latest News
Sport England says it's introducing "new and innovative" ways to increase participation – by doing ...
Latest News
Denmark has been identified as the cheapest country in the world to live a healthy ...
Latest News
Boxx has launched a new generation punch bag and smart punch trackers that work with ...
Latest News
The Global Wellness Institute (GWI) and BBC Storyworks have struck up a partnership to create ...
Latest News
The global wellness economy will grow by 9.9 per cent annually and reach US$7trn by ...
Latest News
Inclusive Fitness Boston, a health club created specifically for those with disabilities and their families, ...
Latest News
The Women in Fitness Association (WIFA), is partnering with Sport Alliance to undertake a survey ...
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Increases in COVID-19 cases across Europe are forcing governments to introduce restrictions, which is having ...
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Exercise has been found to increase levels of endocannabinoids – cannabis-like substances produced by the ...
Opinion
promotion
FitnessOnDemand’s divisional vice president Uday Anumalachetty discusses what live fitness really means for clubs and their members today
Opinion: Why we need to reimagine what live fitness really means
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: INTEGRATE INNOVATE INVIGORATE with Power Plate
Moving into a new era of health and wellness, Power Plate has extended their popular Black edition range to enable health clubs and fitness studios to integrate vibration training seamlessly into their facilities.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Pulse Fitness appointed as preferred fitness supplier to Telford & Wrekin Leisure
After winning a competitive tender process in 2019, Pulse Fitness was appointed by Telford & Wrekin Leisure as its preferred fitness supplier over the next five years.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active successfully reopens exercise referral scheme thanks to EXi partnership
Local authority leisure provider Everyone Active has reopened its essential exercise referral scheme, by joining forces with EXi, the NHS-approved exercise prescription app and data portal.
Featured operator 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.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Physical Company Ltd
Company profiles
Company profile: FunXtion International BV
With our digital member solutions, branded app and branded virtual classes your clients can now ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Merrithew™ - Leaders in Mindful Movement™
Merrithew™ enriches the lives of others with responsible exercise modalities and innovative, multidisciplinary fitness offerings ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Matrix Fitness: Exercise equipment
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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