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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: Crossing borders

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2012 issue 3
The EU is keen to hear of ideas that might encourage people to become more active; if you have a project that’s worked well in your local community, now might be the time to offer it to a wider audience

As delegates from around the world come together for the IHRSA Annual Convention & Trade Show this month, it seems a perfect time to challenge ourselves to drive even deeper levels of co- operation and mutual learning. What are the opportunities for idea sharing on a global scale? For the adoption of projects that have proved successful in other markets? Perhaps even for specifically designing initiatives to run in multiple countries?

On page 30, we talk to Despina Spanou – principal advisor on Health & Consumers in the European Commission, and chair of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health – about European-level efforts to address obesity, and the role the health and fitness industry can play in this.

As Spanou explains, physical activity has always been part of the EU’s obesity strategy – a strategy that launched in 2007 to run to the end of 2013. However, nutrition took a front seat for the first few years. But in 2011, the EU renewed its commitment to fight obesity – “a bit like within a within a marriage, when after a few years you renew your vows,” explains Spanou – with an updated set of objectives that include a greater emphasis on physical activity.

So what does this mean for us? Essentially it means the EU has recognised the vital role that physical activity can play in the prevention and treatment of obesity – and the lifestyle diseases associated with obesity – and sees our sector as a credible partner. That in itself is great news. More specifically, through its Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health – which brings together all stakeholders, from the fitness sector to the food industry to the medical community – the EU is keen to hear of ideas that might encourage people to become more active. “If someone has an idea of an action, they should approach their national body – the FIA in the UK, for example – who can in turn refer to EHFA to bring the idea to the Platform,” urges Spanou. Funding is available to help get these projects off the ground.

So what types of initiative are they looking for? “Key among the criteria for acceptance is the need to provide measurable outcomes. Any action is good, but we have to focus on projects that can prove delivery against our EU-level strategic objectives.” We are also encouraged to think beyond our usual horizons: “As far as possible, [projects] should be co-ordinated actions across Europe, rather than being specific to just one area or country. At the very least, they should offer best practice that can be replicated elsewhere.

“We also try to implement actions with a lot of different stakeholders working together; the biggest impact can often be gained by working across sectors.” This ties in with the FIA’s approach in the UK, where a range of partnership ventures are already in place – the government-led Responsibility Deal, for example, in which the fitness industry is working alongside brands such as Lloyds bank, the Co-op, GSK and Asda.

This all sounds very high level, and admittedly it can be easy to feel like too small a cog in too large a machine to really make a difference on a national, or even international, stage. However, a good idea is often scaleable. If you have a project that’s worked well in your local community – perhaps bringing activity and healthy living to new population groups – ask yourself this: is there any reason why it couldn’t work elsewhere? If the answer is no, now might be the time to offer it to a wider audience.

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https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2012_3editor.gif
The EU is now focusing on physical activity as a way of addressing obesity, and is looking to our sector for solutions, says Kate Cracknell
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features

Editor's letter: Crossing borders

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2012 issue 3
The EU is keen to hear of ideas that might encourage people to become more active; if you have a project that’s worked well in your local community, now might be the time to offer it to a wider audience

As delegates from around the world come together for the IHRSA Annual Convention & Trade Show this month, it seems a perfect time to challenge ourselves to drive even deeper levels of co- operation and mutual learning. What are the opportunities for idea sharing on a global scale? For the adoption of projects that have proved successful in other markets? Perhaps even for specifically designing initiatives to run in multiple countries?

On page 30, we talk to Despina Spanou – principal advisor on Health & Consumers in the European Commission, and chair of the EU Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health – about European-level efforts to address obesity, and the role the health and fitness industry can play in this.

As Spanou explains, physical activity has always been part of the EU’s obesity strategy – a strategy that launched in 2007 to run to the end of 2013. However, nutrition took a front seat for the first few years. But in 2011, the EU renewed its commitment to fight obesity – “a bit like within a within a marriage, when after a few years you renew your vows,” explains Spanou – with an updated set of objectives that include a greater emphasis on physical activity.

So what does this mean for us? Essentially it means the EU has recognised the vital role that physical activity can play in the prevention and treatment of obesity – and the lifestyle diseases associated with obesity – and sees our sector as a credible partner. That in itself is great news. More specifically, through its Platform for Action on Diet, Physical Activity and Health – which brings together all stakeholders, from the fitness sector to the food industry to the medical community – the EU is keen to hear of ideas that might encourage people to become more active. “If someone has an idea of an action, they should approach their national body – the FIA in the UK, for example – who can in turn refer to EHFA to bring the idea to the Platform,” urges Spanou. Funding is available to help get these projects off the ground.

So what types of initiative are they looking for? “Key among the criteria for acceptance is the need to provide measurable outcomes. Any action is good, but we have to focus on projects that can prove delivery against our EU-level strategic objectives.” We are also encouraged to think beyond our usual horizons: “As far as possible, [projects] should be co-ordinated actions across Europe, rather than being specific to just one area or country. At the very least, they should offer best practice that can be replicated elsewhere.

“We also try to implement actions with a lot of different stakeholders working together; the biggest impact can often be gained by working across sectors.” This ties in with the FIA’s approach in the UK, where a range of partnership ventures are already in place – the government-led Responsibility Deal, for example, in which the fitness industry is working alongside brands such as Lloyds bank, the Co-op, GSK and Asda.

This all sounds very high level, and admittedly it can be easy to feel like too small a cog in too large a machine to really make a difference on a national, or even international, stage. However, a good idea is often scaleable. If you have a project that’s worked well in your local community – perhaps bringing activity and healthy living to new population groups – ask yourself this: is there any reason why it couldn’t work elsewhere? If the answer is no, now might be the time to offer it to a wider audience.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2012_3editor.gif
The EU is now focusing on physical activity as a way of addressing obesity, and is looking to our sector for solutions, says Kate Cracknell
Kate Cracknell, editor,obesity, physical activity,
Latest News
Peloton has completed the merging of its commercial operations with Precor, the equipment brand it ...
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Half of UK adults aren't happy with their physical fitness levels, according to a study ...
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Temporary measures brought in to support businesses in the UK from insolvency during the pandemic ...
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Nadine Dorries has replaced Oliver Dowden as the Secretary of State for Digital, Media, Culture ...
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In a major move against the gym market, Apple has revealed a number of upgrades ...
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Physical activity professionals in England will soon be able to access free, one-to-one learning with ...
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Featured supplier news: Uptivo: Individual and group heart rate tracking
Uptivo is an all-in-one digital solution for fitness clubs, fitness boutique studios and personal trainers that provides powerful tools to schedule activities, manage member payments, and monitor heart rate both for remote and on-site classes.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Technogym awarded “Supplier of the year” at ukactive awards 2021
The best in class of the physical activity sector have been revealed at the ukactive Awards 2021.
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.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Company profiles
Company profile: Core Health & Fitness
Core Health & Fitness offers the commercial health and fitness club marketplace an unmatched portfolio ...
Company profiles
Company profile: RISE Fitness Franchise
RISE is a brand-new franchise created to fill an emerging gap. Outdoor workouts have become ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Newport, Shropshire
Lilleshall Sports Academy
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Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
13-14 Oct 2021
Online,
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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