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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Editor's letter: On-track with tracking?

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 6
Clubs that ignore the tech trend will increasingly lose out. It’s time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant

We’re hearing more and more about the ‘quantified self’, and this trend is now steering a course directly towards us, with news of some exciting and disruptive deals that won’t just bring tracking to the doorsteps of our clubs, but right into the heart of our businesses.

Apple is leading the charge by putting wellness at the heart of iOS 8 – its next operating system – and into its keenly anticipated iWatch. With its genius for connecting with consumers, this alone is enough to get health club operators sitting up and taking notice.

A new iOS 8 Healthbook app will monitor everything from sleep, nutrition and physical movement to vital signs: blood sugar, heart rate, breathing rate, weight, hydration. Also planned is an App Store-style health and fitness platform offering third-party health and medical apps.

In addition, a recent patent application from the tech giant suggests new headphones are on their way, with inbuilt accelerometers and sensors to detect perspiration, body temperature and heart rate. There’s even mention of a ‘psychological’ sensor, which – it’s speculated – may use algorithms to create a picture of the user’s mental state.

And there’s more. Last month Microsoft announced a patent for a fitness smartwatch, while April saw Facebook acquire fitness tracking app Moves and Nike implement layoffs in its FuelBand division, fuelling rumours it will partner with Apple for hardware – a potentially market-changing pairing. And as hardware continues to evolve – becoming less a question of remembering to put on a smartwatch and more a case of stick-on patches and swallowable sensors that stay in the gut – its appeal will only snowball.

All of this presents both an opportunity and a threat for our sector: it’s time to embrace this technology or be left behind. Apple’s ability to drive mass adoption could be the spark that moves us from an era of activity tracking by a niche group of gadget-loving exercisers to wellness monitoring as part of daily life for all – but if we don’t step up and take responsibility for members’ total wellbeing habits in and outside the club, they could be taken away from us by the electronics giants.

Indeed, it’s easy to imagine Apple joining the dots and challenging the health club model, prescribing personalised activity and nutrition plans off the back of users’ data, offering motivation through PT apps, even facilitating the social element by enabling people to share results and find friends to work out with.

So what can be done? Clubs can configure their systems to interact with tracking devices; create member challenges and competitions that run through their trackers but link with club-based activities; encourage members to share data as a basis not only for PT, but for more tailored small group, outdoor and at-home workouts. This programming may not be bespoke to each individual, but its advantage over an app will lie in the motivation of live, instructor-led sessions and accountability to the club, not just an app, for their results.

Clubs that ignore the tech trend will find themselves increasingly losing out. It’s time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant in today’s tech-savvy society.

Kate Cracknell, editor
[email protected] @HealthClubKate

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
There are now more than 160,000 health clubs globally, serving nearly 140 million members / all photos: shutterstock.com
There are now more than 160,000 health clubs globally, serving nearly 140 million members / all photos: shutterstock.com
Brazil is the leading fitness market in Latin America, but penetration rates are low when compared with more developed markets / all photos: shutterstock.com
Brazil is the leading fitness market in Latin America, but penetration rates are low when compared with more developed markets / all photos: shutterstock.com
Growth in Asia Pacific is led by the rapidly growing economies of China and India / main photo: shutterstock.com / andresr
Growth in Asia Pacific is led by the rapidly growing economies of China and India / main photo: shutterstock.com / andresr
2014 IHRSA Global Report
2014 IHRSA Global Report
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2014_6editor.jpg
Clubs that ignore the tech trend will increasingly lose out. It's time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant, says Kate Cracknell
Kate Cracknell, editor,Technology, tracking, activity tracking, Nike, Apple, wearables, FuelBand, Healthbook, iWatch
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features

Editor's letter: On-track with tracking?

By Kate Cracknell | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 6
Clubs that ignore the tech trend will increasingly lose out. It’s time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant

We’re hearing more and more about the ‘quantified self’, and this trend is now steering a course directly towards us, with news of some exciting and disruptive deals that won’t just bring tracking to the doorsteps of our clubs, but right into the heart of our businesses.

Apple is leading the charge by putting wellness at the heart of iOS 8 – its next operating system – and into its keenly anticipated iWatch. With its genius for connecting with consumers, this alone is enough to get health club operators sitting up and taking notice.

A new iOS 8 Healthbook app will monitor everything from sleep, nutrition and physical movement to vital signs: blood sugar, heart rate, breathing rate, weight, hydration. Also planned is an App Store-style health and fitness platform offering third-party health and medical apps.

In addition, a recent patent application from the tech giant suggests new headphones are on their way, with inbuilt accelerometers and sensors to detect perspiration, body temperature and heart rate. There’s even mention of a ‘psychological’ sensor, which – it’s speculated – may use algorithms to create a picture of the user’s mental state.

And there’s more. Last month Microsoft announced a patent for a fitness smartwatch, while April saw Facebook acquire fitness tracking app Moves and Nike implement layoffs in its FuelBand division, fuelling rumours it will partner with Apple for hardware – a potentially market-changing pairing. And as hardware continues to evolve – becoming less a question of remembering to put on a smartwatch and more a case of stick-on patches and swallowable sensors that stay in the gut – its appeal will only snowball.

All of this presents both an opportunity and a threat for our sector: it’s time to embrace this technology or be left behind. Apple’s ability to drive mass adoption could be the spark that moves us from an era of activity tracking by a niche group of gadget-loving exercisers to wellness monitoring as part of daily life for all – but if we don’t step up and take responsibility for members’ total wellbeing habits in and outside the club, they could be taken away from us by the electronics giants.

Indeed, it’s easy to imagine Apple joining the dots and challenging the health club model, prescribing personalised activity and nutrition plans off the back of users’ data, offering motivation through PT apps, even facilitating the social element by enabling people to share results and find friends to work out with.

So what can be done? Clubs can configure their systems to interact with tracking devices; create member challenges and competitions that run through their trackers but link with club-based activities; encourage members to share data as a basis not only for PT, but for more tailored small group, outdoor and at-home workouts. This programming may not be bespoke to each individual, but its advantage over an app will lie in the motivation of live, instructor-led sessions and accountability to the club, not just an app, for their results.

Clubs that ignore the tech trend will find themselves increasingly losing out. It’s time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant in today’s tech-savvy society.

Kate Cracknell, editor
[email protected] @HealthClubKate

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
There are now more than 160,000 health clubs globally, serving nearly 140 million members / all photos: shutterstock.com
There are now more than 160,000 health clubs globally, serving nearly 140 million members / all photos: shutterstock.com
Brazil is the leading fitness market in Latin America, but penetration rates are low when compared with more developed markets / all photos: shutterstock.com
Brazil is the leading fitness market in Latin America, but penetration rates are low when compared with more developed markets / all photos: shutterstock.com
Growth in Asia Pacific is led by the rapidly growing economies of China and India / main photo: shutterstock.com / andresr
Growth in Asia Pacific is led by the rapidly growing economies of China and India / main photo: shutterstock.com / andresr
2014 IHRSA Global Report
2014 IHRSA Global Report
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2014_6editor.jpg
Clubs that ignore the tech trend will increasingly lose out. It's time to reinvent ourselves to ensure we remain relevant, says Kate Cracknell
Kate Cracknell, editor,Technology, tracking, activity tracking, Nike, Apple, wearables, FuelBand, Healthbook, iWatch
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Recovery, social wellness and longevity were talking points at PerformX recently, tipped by many speakers ...
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Industry experts are gathering in Cologne for today's European Health & Fitness Forum (EHFF), followed ...
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As one of the most energy-intensive industries in the UK, leisure facilities face a critical challenge in balancing net zero goals, funding and increased costs.
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Featured supplier news: Study Active acquires Premier Global name and select branding assets
Study Active has legally acquired the name “Premier Global” and select Premier Global branding assets from Assessment Technologies Institute LLC, part of Ascend Learning in the US.
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Company profile: Places Leisure
Places Leisure aims to enlighten our communities about the benefits of a healthy lifestyle in ...
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Company profile: Inspace Fitness
Inspace Fitness is an exciting, fast growing, fitness equipment, gym design and equipment service supplier ...
Supplier Showcase
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: ‘Better’ managers get a ‘taste’ for volunteering
The management team from ‘Better’ leisure centres in the Lewisham area is looking for local projects that need a helping hand.
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KeepMe press release: Gymnation appoints Keepme CEO Ian Mullane to board of directors
The fastest growing gym chain based out of the GCC has appointed Keepme’s CEO, Ian Mullane to its board of directors.
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
salt therapy products
Saltability: salt therapy products
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
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Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
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Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
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Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
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Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
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Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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