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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

HCM People: Rainer UsselmannCo-founder, Happy Finish

Digital therapeutics could offer digital-first wellness ‘prescriptions’, digital ‘treatments’ and curated content to alter mood and improve wellbeing

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 6
Usselmann is redefining immersive experiences / Photo: Happy Finish
Usselmann is redefining immersive experiences / Photo: Happy Finish
It became clear there was an opportunity to extend our collaboration beyond a single VR project – going beyond the physical and into the metaverse

What trends do you see driving change in the fitness and wellness sector?
Wellness is undergoing a momentous digital transformation – from the music industry pivoting to ‘wellness’ music to new technologies that capture our biometric data to create personalised, healing breathwork. We’re entering the era of adaptive, personalised digital wellbeing solutions.

You’re working with Thermengruppe Josef Wund to create new services – what will these look like?
It’s all about immersive wellness. We’re developing a number of different technologies such as instructor-led or self-guided classes against changing, spectacular backdrops. These are delivered on room-sized curved screens in immersive, biophilic environments and also multisensory chroma yoga, enabled with motion tracking-based feedback.

The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see, feel and experience in a new and multisensory way.

Tell us more about Thermengruppe Josef Wund
It’s a German company, that designs, develops and operates wellness resorts that combine the ancient tradition of thermal baths with the thrills of a modern waterpark, with a wide range of health and wellbeing options, such as yoga classes and workouts available and healthy food options.

These are all set within very large, architecturally spectacular, light-filled, biophilic spaces full of real vegetation and hundreds of giant palm trees. The resorts offer guests a unique wellbeing proposition, a refuge from the stresses of daily life and a holiday destination that’s just a short commute away.

How did the partnership come about?
When Thermengruppe Josef Wund approached us in early 2019, it was initially to develop a collaboration for our Virtual Reality SkySlide product, that we’d launched on the viewing platform of the Shard in London two years before (www.spabusiness.com/skyslide).


However, during the course of our initial conversations, it quickly became clear that there was an opportunity to extend our collaboration beyond a single VR project, and look at ways of widening Wund’s core proposition beyond the physical and into the metaverse.

How did the partnership develop?
Under the working title ‘Therme in your pocket’, we began a series of work-streams to establish and define how a digital ‘experiential’ layer could be added to their customer journey to meaningfully extend what was on offer in bricks and mortar; how we could enable digital and physical services for enhanced wellbeing, on site, on the go, at home and at work.

At the discovery phase, we researched the market for digitally-enabled wellbeing services from blockbuster Apps such as Calm, as well as trends – for example, the quantified/optimised self and health metrics. What became clear, very quickly, was the need to differentiate the new offer, and the vision of the service that Wund would bring to the market from more generic wellbeing propositions.

What direction did you head in?
We had to be clear about the specific and evolving needs and expectations of Wund’s core audience. Supported by a process of user and stakeholder interviews, we arrived at a few key considerations. While the general wellness market has seen exponential growth, particularly in the shape of global, self-serve wellness apps, either VC-funded, or from tech incumbents, we wanted to ensure that Wund’s offer was more authentic, more connected with their physical sites and services and their local and regional audiences.

How are you making it different?
With two million guests visiting Wund resorts annually, there’s a real gap for products and services that can meaningfully extend the company’s service offer and brand.

This presents a unique opportunity for a credible presence built on a well-established ecosystem within an otherwise increasingly crowded and generic wellness market.

The need for heightened focus on health and wellbeing has never been more acute. The pandemic has pushed narratives centre-stage that had been on the margins before, such as mental health, burnout, work-life balance, nutrition and so on.

What will the new services look like?
Digital therapeutics could offer digital-first wellness ‘prescriptions’, digital ‘treatments’ and curated content to alter mood and improve wellbeing. Our roadmap for Wund’s on-site and off-site programming will follow two key principles:
1. Immersive Wellness Solutions
These will deliver evidence-based wellness, combined with immersive technology to create interactive installations, experiential relaxation programmes and products.
2. The importance of community
We want to support Wund’s community to transform anxiety, support healthier lifestyles, and improve productivity. This will happen by building a community around wellness and technology, supporting a transition from a transactional proposition to the consumer becoming partners in striving for attainable wellness.

And what effects will they have?
These emerging ‘digital nutrition’ tools categorise content based on its proven ability to evoke six core emotions or mood groups: calm, confidence, connection, energy, focus and happiness. These moods are linked to the activity of neurotransmitters and hormones, such as GABA, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, acetylcholine, and serotonin.

How do you see the future of digital wellness?
Wellbeing needs redefining now that being digital has become a ‘thing’. We’re excited to be part of the redefinition of how meaningful immersive experiences can add value and a sense of wellbeing to people, whether they’re at home, at work, on the go or at play. We think of it as wellbeing remixed for the age of the metaverse.

/ Photo: Wund Holdings
The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see and feel in new ways / Photo: Wund Holdings
The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see and feel in new ways / Photo: Wund Holdings
Two million guests currently visit Wund’s wellness destinations each year / Photo: Therme Group
Two million guests currently visit Wund’s wellness destinations each year / Photo: Therme Group
/ Photo: Wund Holdings
Customers will become partners in striving for attainable wellness, says Usselmann / Photo: Wund Holdings
Customers will become partners in striving for attainable wellness, says Usselmann / Photo: Wund Holdings
Germany’s largest wellbeing resort, in Bad Vilbel, will open in 2023 / Photo: Therme Group
Germany’s largest wellbeing resort, in Bad Vilbel, will open in 2023 / Photo: Therme Group
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/115556_198156.jpg
The co-founder of Happy Finish explains how the future of fitness could look with ‘digital-first’ wellness prescriptions and fully immersive experiences
HCM magazine
Are you on board with the metaverse or is it something to leave to the tech team? Kath Hudson investigates
HCM magazine
RSG Group has opened Heimat, a members-only concept fitness club and a new way to ‘work out and live well’, as Liz Terry reports
HCM magazine
Colin Milner, CEO of the International Council on Active Aging explains the latest research into opportunities in the active-ageing sector
HCM Magazine
Strength
Creators of strength-training kit have their finger on the pulse when it comes to delivering on consumer engagement. Frances Marcellin asks them to highlight emerging trends
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
BXR is one of the most exciting brands in the fitness industry. Co-founder Alex Nicholl gives us a glimpse behind the scenes
HCM Magazine
Policy
Martyn Allison reviews a recent National Audit Office report into grassroots participation in physical activity in the UK
HCM Magazine
Interview
Drop Fitness has launched its first site in New Jersey using a new model inspired by the gaming industry. The founder and CEO talks to Kate Cracknell
HCM Magazine
HCM People
“I wanted to bring real kickbox training to the average person in the most convenient format, while taking out the worst part – getting punched in the face!”
HCM Magazine
Research
New Deloitte report finds the health and fitness sector contributes up to US$91.22bn* a year to global GDP, as Frances Marcellin reports
HCM Magazine
Gym floor
Small group training is growing ever more popular, driven by supply-side innovation and demand, as HCM’s Frances Marcellin discovers
HCM Magazine
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Click on a catalogue to view it online
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Management software
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Diary dates
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Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

features

HCM People: Rainer UsselmannCo-founder, Happy Finish

Digital therapeutics could offer digital-first wellness ‘prescriptions’, digital ‘treatments’ and curated content to alter mood and improve wellbeing

Published in Health Club Management 2022 issue 6
Usselmann is redefining immersive experiences / Photo: Happy Finish
Usselmann is redefining immersive experiences / Photo: Happy Finish
It became clear there was an opportunity to extend our collaboration beyond a single VR project – going beyond the physical and into the metaverse

What trends do you see driving change in the fitness and wellness sector?
Wellness is undergoing a momentous digital transformation – from the music industry pivoting to ‘wellness’ music to new technologies that capture our biometric data to create personalised, healing breathwork. We’re entering the era of adaptive, personalised digital wellbeing solutions.

You’re working with Thermengruppe Josef Wund to create new services – what will these look like?
It’s all about immersive wellness. We’re developing a number of different technologies such as instructor-led or self-guided classes against changing, spectacular backdrops. These are delivered on room-sized curved screens in immersive, biophilic environments and also multisensory chroma yoga, enabled with motion tracking-based feedback.

The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see, feel and experience in a new and multisensory way.

Tell us more about Thermengruppe Josef Wund
It’s a German company, that designs, develops and operates wellness resorts that combine the ancient tradition of thermal baths with the thrills of a modern waterpark, with a wide range of health and wellbeing options, such as yoga classes and workouts available and healthy food options.

These are all set within very large, architecturally spectacular, light-filled, biophilic spaces full of real vegetation and hundreds of giant palm trees. The resorts offer guests a unique wellbeing proposition, a refuge from the stresses of daily life and a holiday destination that’s just a short commute away.

How did the partnership come about?
When Thermengruppe Josef Wund approached us in early 2019, it was initially to develop a collaboration for our Virtual Reality SkySlide product, that we’d launched on the viewing platform of the Shard in London two years before (www.spabusiness.com/skyslide).


However, during the course of our initial conversations, it quickly became clear that there was an opportunity to extend our collaboration beyond a single VR project, and look at ways of widening Wund’s core proposition beyond the physical and into the metaverse.

How did the partnership develop?
Under the working title ‘Therme in your pocket’, we began a series of work-streams to establish and define how a digital ‘experiential’ layer could be added to their customer journey to meaningfully extend what was on offer in bricks and mortar; how we could enable digital and physical services for enhanced wellbeing, on site, on the go, at home and at work.

At the discovery phase, we researched the market for digitally-enabled wellbeing services from blockbuster Apps such as Calm, as well as trends – for example, the quantified/optimised self and health metrics. What became clear, very quickly, was the need to differentiate the new offer, and the vision of the service that Wund would bring to the market from more generic wellbeing propositions.

What direction did you head in?
We had to be clear about the specific and evolving needs and expectations of Wund’s core audience. Supported by a process of user and stakeholder interviews, we arrived at a few key considerations. While the general wellness market has seen exponential growth, particularly in the shape of global, self-serve wellness apps, either VC-funded, or from tech incumbents, we wanted to ensure that Wund’s offer was more authentic, more connected with their physical sites and services and their local and regional audiences.

How are you making it different?
With two million guests visiting Wund resorts annually, there’s a real gap for products and services that can meaningfully extend the company’s service offer and brand.

This presents a unique opportunity for a credible presence built on a well-established ecosystem within an otherwise increasingly crowded and generic wellness market.

The need for heightened focus on health and wellbeing has never been more acute. The pandemic has pushed narratives centre-stage that had been on the margins before, such as mental health, burnout, work-life balance, nutrition and so on.

What will the new services look like?
Digital therapeutics could offer digital-first wellness ‘prescriptions’, digital ‘treatments’ and curated content to alter mood and improve wellbeing. Our roadmap for Wund’s on-site and off-site programming will follow two key principles:
1. Immersive Wellness Solutions
These will deliver evidence-based wellness, combined with immersive technology to create interactive installations, experiential relaxation programmes and products.
2. The importance of community
We want to support Wund’s community to transform anxiety, support healthier lifestyles, and improve productivity. This will happen by building a community around wellness and technology, supporting a transition from a transactional proposition to the consumer becoming partners in striving for attainable wellness.

And what effects will they have?
These emerging ‘digital nutrition’ tools categorise content based on its proven ability to evoke six core emotions or mood groups: calm, confidence, connection, energy, focus and happiness. These moods are linked to the activity of neurotransmitters and hormones, such as GABA, dopamine, oxytocin, endorphins, acetylcholine, and serotonin.

How do you see the future of digital wellness?
Wellbeing needs redefining now that being digital has become a ‘thing’. We’re excited to be part of the redefinition of how meaningful immersive experiences can add value and a sense of wellbeing to people, whether they’re at home, at work, on the go or at play. We think of it as wellbeing remixed for the age of the metaverse.

/ Photo: Wund Holdings
The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see and feel in new ways / Photo: Wund Holdings
The aim is for immersive wellness to make guests see and feel in new ways / Photo: Wund Holdings
Two million guests currently visit Wund’s wellness destinations each year / Photo: Therme Group
Two million guests currently visit Wund’s wellness destinations each year / Photo: Therme Group
/ Photo: Wund Holdings
Customers will become partners in striving for attainable wellness, says Usselmann / Photo: Wund Holdings
Customers will become partners in striving for attainable wellness, says Usselmann / Photo: Wund Holdings
Germany’s largest wellbeing resort, in Bad Vilbel, will open in 2023 / Photo: Therme Group
Germany’s largest wellbeing resort, in Bad Vilbel, will open in 2023 / Photo: Therme Group
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2022/115556_198156.jpg
The co-founder of Happy Finish explains how the future of fitness could look with ‘digital-first’ wellness prescriptions and fully immersive experiences
Latest News
A new open water swimming venue will has been launched in the heart of Canary ...
Latest News
Peter Roberts, former CEO and founder of Pure Gym, has invested in Another Round, a ...
Latest News
Fitness markets around the globe are demonstrating "reassuring signs of recovery" following the pandemic disruptions ...
Latest News
Mark Sesnan, CEO of GLL, has pushed back on Tower Hamlet Council’s decision to take ...
Latest News
Ohm Fitness, a new franchised studio concept, has opened its first location in Scottsdale, Arizona. ...
Latest News
Easton Leisure Centre in the UK has announced a 100 per cent reduction in heating ...
Latest News
The Gym Group saw its membership grow by 10 per cent during the first six ...
Latest News
Mindbody has announced that Fritz Lanman will become the company’s new CEO from 3 September ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: EGYM announces integration with software provider Fisikal
EGYM has announced an integration with a leading UK-based software company Fisikal to enhance its capabilities to serve the needs of enterprise customers running multi-site operations.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Good news for the fitness industry, a unique opportunity awaits gyms
In just over two years, the fitness industry has experienced major disruptions to gyms, a boom in at-home fitness and the return of in-person workouts.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New £42m Moorways Sports Village to open on 21 May
Everyone Active will open Moorways Sports Village to the public on Saturday 21 May with a grand opening weekend – in time for the half term holidays.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Parkwood Leisure celebrates four award wins and named Outstanding Organisation of the Year at the 2022 ukactive Awards
It was a night to remember at the 2022 ukactive Awards for Parkwood Leisure, as the leisure facilities operator picked up four awards.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Sport Alliance GmbH
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Company profiles
Company profile: Art of Cryo
Art of Cryo is a new division of a renowned family business with 30 years’ ...
Company profiles
Company profile: InBody UK
InBody provides products that are accurate, medically rated holding a CE mark and certified to ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - A matched philosophy
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Featured press releases: Gympass appoints Fitness Partner Sales Director
Gympass, the world’s largest corporate wellbeing platform, has appointed Andrea Sullivan to the newly created role of Fitness Partner Sales Director to oversee its rapidly expanding portfolio of UK gyms.

Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
21-21 Sep 2022
Various, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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