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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor’s letter: Medical breakthrough

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1

Firstly, congratulations to the FIA on its rebranding as ukactive – a very appropriate choice in pushing forward the organisation’s key message of ‘More people, More Active, More Often’. The new name will open more doors for the organisation as it continues to broadens its remit into health, prevention and wellness.

We’ve known for years that in order for the fitness industry to assume its rightful place as a key provider of preventative wellness, we need to engage with the health service. ukactive’s annual congress, held recently in London, saw an impressive turnout from the medical sector, showing just how far Dave Stalker and his team have come in building bridges with the NHS. Delegates were drawn from right across the health sector and participated strongly in the conference and seminar sessions, raising the level of debate on health issues.

Fitness trumps every other factor when it comes to wellbeing and longevity – you’re better off being a fit smoker than an unfit non-smoker, and better off being fit and obese than thin and unfit, so exercise is the key to health. It’s also highly effective in doing everything from preventing falls in the elderly to treating mild to moderate depression and improving kids’ school grades.

One of the industry’s biggest challenges is engaging GPs and persuading them to prescribe exercise for relevant health problems, as well as prescribing it routinely for patients who aren’t doing enough, but at the moment they’re largely disengaged. This point was made most clearly by Dr William Bird, a strong proponent of the value of outdoor exercise, who told congress delegates he’d surveyed several hundred GPs in London and not one of them was aware of the Department of Health’s current activity guidelines.

GPs get financial incentives through QOF (the Quality and Outcomes Framework) to prescribe non-exercise treatment for a range of health issues including asthma, mental health, diabetes, coronary heart disease and hypertension. However, in spite of extensive lobbying, exercise has failed to make the QOF list and in the eyes of the majority of GPs, remains outside their remit and training.

But hard on the heels of the congress came the exciting news that NICE – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – will recommend that physical activity is included in the QOF. This is a big breakthrough for the industry and although NICE doesn’t have the power to insist this happens – the Department of Health and representatives from the medical profession are the ultimate decision-makers – Mike Kelly, director of health at NICE, in a recent interview with Leisure Management magazine, said: “Given the compelling evidence of its physical and mental benefits, physical activity is something we’ll be pushing to the foreground as a candidate for QOF.” (See Leisure Management issue 1 2013)

NICE has also announced a new set of activity guidelines around walking and cycling, advising people to make shorter journeys by foot or bike rather than car. “We’ve all got to own this problem,” says Kelly. “It requires concerted effort involving the medical profession, government, and the food and health and fitness industries.” Having NICE endorsing exercise is thrilling – and a great start to 2013 for the industry. Hats off to the lobbyists behind the scenes who’ve helped achieve this outcome.

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1editor.gif
NICE is now recommending that physical activity be included in the QOF, which financially incentivises GPs for prescribing specific treatments. This is, says Liz Terry, a major breakthrough for the fitness industry
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features

Editor’s letter: Medical breakthrough

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2013 issue 1

Firstly, congratulations to the FIA on its rebranding as ukactive – a very appropriate choice in pushing forward the organisation’s key message of ‘More people, More Active, More Often’. The new name will open more doors for the organisation as it continues to broadens its remit into health, prevention and wellness.

We’ve known for years that in order for the fitness industry to assume its rightful place as a key provider of preventative wellness, we need to engage with the health service. ukactive’s annual congress, held recently in London, saw an impressive turnout from the medical sector, showing just how far Dave Stalker and his team have come in building bridges with the NHS. Delegates were drawn from right across the health sector and participated strongly in the conference and seminar sessions, raising the level of debate on health issues.

Fitness trumps every other factor when it comes to wellbeing and longevity – you’re better off being a fit smoker than an unfit non-smoker, and better off being fit and obese than thin and unfit, so exercise is the key to health. It’s also highly effective in doing everything from preventing falls in the elderly to treating mild to moderate depression and improving kids’ school grades.

One of the industry’s biggest challenges is engaging GPs and persuading them to prescribe exercise for relevant health problems, as well as prescribing it routinely for patients who aren’t doing enough, but at the moment they’re largely disengaged. This point was made most clearly by Dr William Bird, a strong proponent of the value of outdoor exercise, who told congress delegates he’d surveyed several hundred GPs in London and not one of them was aware of the Department of Health’s current activity guidelines.

GPs get financial incentives through QOF (the Quality and Outcomes Framework) to prescribe non-exercise treatment for a range of health issues including asthma, mental health, diabetes, coronary heart disease and hypertension. However, in spite of extensive lobbying, exercise has failed to make the QOF list and in the eyes of the majority of GPs, remains outside their remit and training.

But hard on the heels of the congress came the exciting news that NICE – the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence – will recommend that physical activity is included in the QOF. This is a big breakthrough for the industry and although NICE doesn’t have the power to insist this happens – the Department of Health and representatives from the medical profession are the ultimate decision-makers – Mike Kelly, director of health at NICE, in a recent interview with Leisure Management magazine, said: “Given the compelling evidence of its physical and mental benefits, physical activity is something we’ll be pushing to the foreground as a candidate for QOF.” (See Leisure Management issue 1 2013)

NICE has also announced a new set of activity guidelines around walking and cycling, advising people to make shorter journeys by foot or bike rather than car. “We’ve all got to own this problem,” says Kelly. “It requires concerted effort involving the medical profession, government, and the food and health and fitness industries.” Having NICE endorsing exercise is thrilling – and a great start to 2013 for the industry. Hats off to the lobbyists behind the scenes who’ve helped achieve this outcome.

https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2013_1editor.gif
NICE is now recommending that physical activity be included in the QOF, which financially incentivises GPs for prescribing specific treatments. This is, says Liz Terry, a major breakthrough for the fitness industry
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Hundreds of gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres have been forced to close and thousands ...
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People placing increased emphasis on their physical fitness, the advances made in digital fitness and ...
Latest News
A new guide looks to offer local level practitioners and commissioners – as well as ...
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What are the effects on public health of gyms and leisure centres being shut during ...
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Mobile data and analytics provider App Annie has released its State Of Mobile 2021 report, ...
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The world's largest fitness trade fair, FIBO, has been rescheduled to November. The event will ...
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PM, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will ...
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Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
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Company profile: Fisikal Limited
Fisikal helps fitness professionals, operators and education organisations improve efficiencies and service through its online ...
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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