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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,
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Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
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The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
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Featured supplier news: Precor launches member-focused Preva Mobile app
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
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fibodo Limited: Management software
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Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
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Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
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Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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
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
Health clubs and gyms will be able to open their doors to individual training sessions ...
Latest News
As health clubs and gyms reopen following lockdowns, it is "absolutely crucial" operators take a ...
Latest News
IHRSA and Fitness Brasil say they have signed a partnership agreement that will see the ...
Latest News
EuropeActive has joined the All Policies for a Healthy Europe (APHE) initiative, as part of ...
Latest News
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, ...
Latest News
World Leisure Organization (WLO) has opened the entry process for its International Innovation Prize. Now ...
Latest News
Health clubs, leisure centres and studios in England have opened today (12 April) for the ...
Latest News
A major new initiative will look to strengthen and unite the fitness industry's voice in ...
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A parliamentary report is calling for a £3bn intervention fund to build back better health ...
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Leisure centre operator Everyone Active has formed a partnership with WW (formerly called Weight Watchers), ...
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Adults suffering from chronic pain should be advised to take exercise, rather than be prescribed ...
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: What does a socially distanced leisure centre and health club look like?
The world has had to get used to social distancing in 2020 and any business operating in the leisure and hospitality sectors has had to face this challenge more than most.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Precor launches member-focused Preva Mobile app
Precor has launched a mobile app to accompany its popular networked fitness solution, Preva, which has so far recorded almost a billion workouts in more than 11,000 facilities worldwide.
Company profiles
Company profile: Crown Sports Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers has designed, crafted and fitted bespoke timber furniture for spas, hotels and ...
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
The TVS Group supply and install sports and fitness flooring to a wide range of ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Property & Tenders
Hillingdon
Hillingdon Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
Diary dates
16-17 Jun 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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