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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Question Time: SIBEC review

Exercise for mental health and ‘virtual versus personal’ – these were some of the topics discussed at the panel debate that kicked off SIBEC Europe 15. Katie Lewis reports

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 1
The Panel - from left to right: Martin Guyton, Jon Nasta, Anastasia Yusina, Kate Cracknell, Rick Crawford and Giles Dean
The Panel - from left to right: Martin Guyton, Jon Nasta, Anastasia Yusina, Kate Cracknell, Rick Crawford and Giles Dean

The Panel
Martin Guyton (MG) – CEO, Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust
Jon Nasta (JN) – Director of ecommerce and marketing, Xercise4Less
Anastasia Yusina (AY) – President, Strata Holdings
Kate Cracknell (KC) Debate Chair – Editor, Health Club Management
Rick Crawford (RC) – Fitness & wellbeing manager, Nuffield Health & Wellbeing
Giles Dean (GD) – Co-founder, 1Rebel

KC: If you had an empty building and open-minded investors, what kind of physical activity facility would you build to meet the needs of the population – not just today, but looking forward 10 years?

JN:Investment priority shouldn’t be in bricks and mortar but in education, both for staff and prospective members. The exercises being prescribed by fitness professionals are currently too generic – staff need the confidence, knowledge and tools to deliver more bespoke programmes. These are much more likely to influence behaviour and positively impact retention and referrals.

AY:Investing in customer education is definitely very important. In our venues we’ve started to offer health and wellbeing seminars to members. Topics range from how to understand food labelling to preventing type 2 diabetes, and sessions are proving very popular.

MG:I’d invest in the provision of more diverse activity centres – like the XC Centre in Hemel Hempstead, which includes high ropes and indoor caving – with the aim of encouraging more people to participate in regular physical activity.

RC: Creating a physical hub where health and wellbeing professionals work together to deliver services that cater for all of a community’s healthcare needs is where I’d like to see investment. In order to secure our industry’s place in the healthcare of the nation, we need to be positioned alongside other credible professionals such as GPs, physiotherapists and nutritionists.

Moving forwards, technology is also going to offer consumers much more opportunity to log and monitor their own health indicators. There’s a huge opportunity to educate our staff so they can help consumers better understand the data they’re collecting and adjust their behaviours to benefit their health.

GD: I’d invest in building a film production studio. Physical buildings can only serve a very local population; we have to embrace the virtual platform. Building an online offering gives us the opportunity to address people in their own homes, taking our brand and expertise to a much broader audience

For example, I was recently introduced to a product called Peloton which allows people at home to virtually link with a cycling class at their gym. This creates a feeling of being a part of something social without having to enter what, for some, is an uncomfortable environment.

KC: That leads nicely on to the next question. With the increased interest in virtual classes, and some clubs even installing virtual advisors, how do we ensure we maintain a strong personal relationship with members?

MG: There’s a danger that moving down a virtual road will have a negative impact on the customer experience. Encouraging people to exercise at home, alone, is not where the focus should be. I agree we need to embrace technology, but let’s not give up on people or underestimate the value of personal contact.

JN: A virtual offering, done well, can hugely enhance a customer’s experience. It has the power to make individuals feel part of a community even when they’re not physically present on-site.

The younger generation already seamlessly uses technology to virtually connect to their environment via their phones and tablets. Moving forward, this generation will expect a virtual offering – they feel very comfortable engaging with a brand in this way.

AY: I agree, but technology needs to be used to create a more personal experience. Simply firing out generic content and messaging will not work and could, in fact, have a negative impact on the customer experience.

That said, if the customer can be made to feel that the virtual content addresses a very personal need and enhances the relationship they have with a particular brand, then this can also be very powerful. Clever planning and bespoke content is absolutely key.

Comment from the floor – Kevin Yates, 1Rebel: Social media engagement presents a huge opportunity but also a threat. Savvy individuals are attracting huge audiences. Body Coach Joe Wicks, for example, has over half a million Instagram followers. These online personalities are hugely influential. As a sector, we need to better engage with these people. The danger is that consumers will choose to use free online resources for their wellbeing support rather than pay for our services.

KC: With physical activity proven to have a profoundly positive impact on mental health, what more could the sector be doing to address mental health issues among the population?

GD: It’s unlikely that people with mental health problems will feel comfortable admitting to them and talking about them in a gym environment. Our role is to better promote the emotional and general wellbeing benefits of exercise to the masses, rather than trying to address what can be very complex mental health issues of individuals.

RC: We need to better engage with the GPs who are diagnosing mental health problems. There seems to be a heavy reliance on the prescription of costly anti-depressant drugs, so we need to work together to better educate healthcare professionals on the positive effects that exercise can have on many mental health conditions. We’ll need to present evidence-based data though – something the health and fitness sector is historically poor at collecting.

AY: It’s totally unreasonable to expect our current health and fitness teams to diagnose and prescribe solutions for mental health patients. Their level of expertise and experience simply doesn’t qualify them to do this.

GP referral is the key to our sector supporting this special population. Initially we need to seek out and work with doctors who truly believe that an active lifestyle can positively impact a person’s state of mind, and that exercise on prescription is more beneficial to them than a drugs programme.

Doctors who lead an active lifestyle themselves and who experience the benefits are more likely to prescribe it to others. We should, therefore, be offering incentives to targeted GPs to come and use our fitness facilities.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Clubs must help members interpret the data they are collecting via trackers / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Clubs must help members interpret the data they are collecting via trackers / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/954188_363027.jpg
Exercise for mental health, and the role of virtual fitness – what do you think, and what is your gym doing?
Katie Lewis Martin Guyton – CEO, Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust Jon Nasta – Director of ecommerce and marketing, Xercise4Less Anastasia Yusina – President, Strata Holdings Kate Cracknell - Debate Chair – Editor, Health Club Management Rick Crawford – Fitness & wellbeing manager, Nuffield Health & Wellbeing Giles Dean – Co-founder, 1Rebel ,SIBEC, mental health, virtual, panel
HCM magazine
Groundbreaking research from around the world is proving the many ways exercise can support health and creating opportunities for the sector to be more valued and useful
HCM magazine
Our strategy is to position ourselves as a wellness provider. We have all the elements needed – gyms, physiotherapy, F&B and spas
HCM magazine
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, with only advanced age and organ transplant leading to greater risk
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
More than 30,000 Hussle users have been turned into direct members in the last 18 months. Find out how Hussle can help your business bounce back
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Matrix Fitness is launching a new three-tiered cardio range to provide total versatility, explains Matt Pengelly
HCM Magazine
Software
As we adapt to a new way of living, software developers have been supporting the fitness sector with new systems and strategies. We asked operators and developers to share successes
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Craig Cocking was appointed Life Fitness UK’s country manager in December, following over 13 years with the business. He reflects on the impact of the past 12 months and shares his views on the future of the industry
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Switzerland’s no frills chain, NonStop Gym, has appointed Funxtion to create its member training app, as CEO Ernst De Neef explains
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
We talk to Dave Wright, CEO of Myzone, about the world’s first interchangeable heart rate monitor that provides real-time feedback – and the impact of COVID-19
HCM Magazine
Wellbeing - the Health Agenda
Prescribe exercise, not painkillers, to chronic pain sufferers, says the UK’s National Institute for Health and Care Excellence, as Tom Walker reports
HCM Magazine
Latest News
Thousands of health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres are under the threat of permanent ...
Latest News
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether ...
Latest News
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since ...
Latest News
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: New consumer expectations demand an exceptional customer experience
fibodo believes that providers who meet consumers needs of service, flexibility, richness of content and accessibility will thrive as we build new and different models of working in leisure, health and fitness and across all sports and activities.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Video Gallery
Pendex
FreeMotion Fitness
MyZone Group Ltd
Company profiles
Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates

features

Question Time: SIBEC review

Exercise for mental health and ‘virtual versus personal’ – these were some of the topics discussed at the panel debate that kicked off SIBEC Europe 15. Katie Lewis reports

By Katie Lewis | Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 1
The Panel - from left to right: Martin Guyton, Jon Nasta, Anastasia Yusina, Kate Cracknell, Rick Crawford and Giles Dean
The Panel - from left to right: Martin Guyton, Jon Nasta, Anastasia Yusina, Kate Cracknell, Rick Crawford and Giles Dean

The Panel
Martin Guyton (MG) – CEO, Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust
Jon Nasta (JN) – Director of ecommerce and marketing, Xercise4Less
Anastasia Yusina (AY) – President, Strata Holdings
Kate Cracknell (KC) Debate Chair – Editor, Health Club Management
Rick Crawford (RC) – Fitness & wellbeing manager, Nuffield Health & Wellbeing
Giles Dean (GD) – Co-founder, 1Rebel

KC: If you had an empty building and open-minded investors, what kind of physical activity facility would you build to meet the needs of the population – not just today, but looking forward 10 years?

JN:Investment priority shouldn’t be in bricks and mortar but in education, both for staff and prospective members. The exercises being prescribed by fitness professionals are currently too generic – staff need the confidence, knowledge and tools to deliver more bespoke programmes. These are much more likely to influence behaviour and positively impact retention and referrals.

AY:Investing in customer education is definitely very important. In our venues we’ve started to offer health and wellbeing seminars to members. Topics range from how to understand food labelling to preventing type 2 diabetes, and sessions are proving very popular.

MG:I’d invest in the provision of more diverse activity centres – like the XC Centre in Hemel Hempstead, which includes high ropes and indoor caving – with the aim of encouraging more people to participate in regular physical activity.

RC: Creating a physical hub where health and wellbeing professionals work together to deliver services that cater for all of a community’s healthcare needs is where I’d like to see investment. In order to secure our industry’s place in the healthcare of the nation, we need to be positioned alongside other credible professionals such as GPs, physiotherapists and nutritionists.

Moving forwards, technology is also going to offer consumers much more opportunity to log and monitor their own health indicators. There’s a huge opportunity to educate our staff so they can help consumers better understand the data they’re collecting and adjust their behaviours to benefit their health.

GD: I’d invest in building a film production studio. Physical buildings can only serve a very local population; we have to embrace the virtual platform. Building an online offering gives us the opportunity to address people in their own homes, taking our brand and expertise to a much broader audience

For example, I was recently introduced to a product called Peloton which allows people at home to virtually link with a cycling class at their gym. This creates a feeling of being a part of something social without having to enter what, for some, is an uncomfortable environment.

KC: That leads nicely on to the next question. With the increased interest in virtual classes, and some clubs even installing virtual advisors, how do we ensure we maintain a strong personal relationship with members?

MG: There’s a danger that moving down a virtual road will have a negative impact on the customer experience. Encouraging people to exercise at home, alone, is not where the focus should be. I agree we need to embrace technology, but let’s not give up on people or underestimate the value of personal contact.

JN: A virtual offering, done well, can hugely enhance a customer’s experience. It has the power to make individuals feel part of a community even when they’re not physically present on-site.

The younger generation already seamlessly uses technology to virtually connect to their environment via their phones and tablets. Moving forward, this generation will expect a virtual offering – they feel very comfortable engaging with a brand in this way.

AY: I agree, but technology needs to be used to create a more personal experience. Simply firing out generic content and messaging will not work and could, in fact, have a negative impact on the customer experience.

That said, if the customer can be made to feel that the virtual content addresses a very personal need and enhances the relationship they have with a particular brand, then this can also be very powerful. Clever planning and bespoke content is absolutely key.

Comment from the floor – Kevin Yates, 1Rebel: Social media engagement presents a huge opportunity but also a threat. Savvy individuals are attracting huge audiences. Body Coach Joe Wicks, for example, has over half a million Instagram followers. These online personalities are hugely influential. As a sector, we need to better engage with these people. The danger is that consumers will choose to use free online resources for their wellbeing support rather than pay for our services.

KC: With physical activity proven to have a profoundly positive impact on mental health, what more could the sector be doing to address mental health issues among the population?

GD: It’s unlikely that people with mental health problems will feel comfortable admitting to them and talking about them in a gym environment. Our role is to better promote the emotional and general wellbeing benefits of exercise to the masses, rather than trying to address what can be very complex mental health issues of individuals.

RC: We need to better engage with the GPs who are diagnosing mental health problems. There seems to be a heavy reliance on the prescription of costly anti-depressant drugs, so we need to work together to better educate healthcare professionals on the positive effects that exercise can have on many mental health conditions. We’ll need to present evidence-based data though – something the health and fitness sector is historically poor at collecting.

AY: It’s totally unreasonable to expect our current health and fitness teams to diagnose and prescribe solutions for mental health patients. Their level of expertise and experience simply doesn’t qualify them to do this.

GP referral is the key to our sector supporting this special population. Initially we need to seek out and work with doctors who truly believe that an active lifestyle can positively impact a person’s state of mind, and that exercise on prescription is more beneficial to them than a drugs programme.

Doctors who lead an active lifestyle themselves and who experience the benefits are more likely to prescribe it to others. We should, therefore, be offering incentives to targeted GPs to come and use our fitness facilities.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Clubs must help members interpret the data they are collecting via trackers / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
Clubs must help members interpret the data they are collecting via trackers / SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/954188_363027.jpg
Exercise for mental health, and the role of virtual fitness – what do you think, and what is your gym doing?
Katie Lewis Martin Guyton – CEO, Tonbridge and Malling Leisure Trust Jon Nasta – Director of ecommerce and marketing, Xercise4Less Anastasia Yusina – President, Strata Holdings Kate Cracknell - Debate Chair – Editor, Health Club Management Rick Crawford – Fitness & wellbeing manager, Nuffield Health & Wellbeing Giles Dean – Co-founder, 1Rebel ,SIBEC, mental health, virtual, panel
Latest News
Thousands of health clubs, swimming pools and leisure centres are under the threat of permanent ...
Latest News
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether ...
Latest News
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since ...
Latest News
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Latest News
A new pioneering approach looks to help cancer patients prepare for and respond to treatment ...
Latest News
Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ machines in the US, after striking ...
Latest News
Health club operator Bannatyne is repositioning itself as a wellness provider, as it looks to ...
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: New consumer expectations demand an exceptional customer experience
fibodo believes that providers who meet consumers needs of service, flexibility, richness of content and accessibility will thrive as we build new and different models of working in leisure, health and fitness and across all sports and activities.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Bounce back faster with a new risk-free joiner channel
The industry is eagerly awaiting the reopening of health clubs and leisure centres in another year affected by COVID-19, where the only thing that’s been certain is uncertainty.
Video Gallery
Pendex
FreeMotion Fitness
MyZone Group Ltd
Company profiles
Company profile: Premier Software Solutions Ltd
Premier Software was founded in 1994 and has proven experience developing business management solutions specifically ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
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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