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Les Mills International
Les Mills International
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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Strategy: Prescribing activity

Linking fitness professionals to the NHS

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 2
It’s now been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy

There have been two revolutions in healthcare. The first in the 19th Century was the Public Health Revolution in which large-scale engineering of sewers and water systems – enabled by stable government and growing wealth – reduced mortality from the great epidemics that ravaged Europe.

The most feared were cholera and typhoid – and then came the clean water revolution as a solution.

The last 50 years have seen the second wave of change, the High Tech Revolution, in which developments such as MRI, transplantation, chemotherapy and joint replacement have transformed the health of individuals and populations, when delivered by well-organised services and funded by a growing economy.

However, at the end of this second revolution, we’re facing significant challenges, with rising demand and no parallel increase in finance.

Furthermore, we know that increases in life expectancy are stalling and that the gap in life expectancy between the wealthiest and most deprived subsections of society remains stubbornly wide.

Another challenge we face is population ageing, and there are great fears about the impact of this on individuals, their families, health and social care services and the economic wealth of nations.

However recent research has demonstrated that this fear is not based on evidence and that in fact disability, dementia and frailty can be prevented or delayed, providing we embrace the third healthcare revolution – the Activity Revolution.

COMBATTING THE NEW EPIDEMIC
Inactivity is a modern epidemic. Our bodies have evolved to be active, but we now live in an environment dominated by the car, the computer and the desk job.

Just as the clean water revolution required environmental and social change and also political support, so too does the third revolution. It’s now recognised that inactivity is a major preventable cause of our modern epidemics, where cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes have replaced cholera and typhoid.

Furthermore, we now know not only that activity can prevent many common diseases, but also that it can transform their treatment. It is – in the words of the Academy Medical Royal Colleges – “the miracle cure” and it’s been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy.

THIRD healthcare revolution
Unlike the second healthcare revolution, activity therapy will not just be delivered by major hospitals and health centres. It will also harness the power of what has been called the third industrial revolution – namely citizens’ knowledge and the internet.

The real key to it is knowledge, and it’s clear that the public and many health service professionals are ignorant or muddled about the effects of ageing, loss of fitness and disease, and the great potential for prevention and treatment.

the impact of ageing
Ageing by itself isn’t a major cause of problems until people reach their mid-90s. It’s a normal biological process that reduces ability and resilience – namely the ability to respond to challenges. However, many people believe that the loss of physical capacity they experience from their 20s onwards is due to ageing, whereas it’s actually due to the modern epidemic – loss of fitness due to inactivity.

For most people, maximum ability starts to decline from their early 20s – usually when they get their first sitting job and car. A fitness gap then starts to open up between the best possible rate of decline and the actual rate of decline in their physical abilities and capacity.

For this reason loss of fitness and ageing are often confused. The picture becomes more complicated when disease occurs.

The impact of disease on fitness
About 40 per cent of 40-year-olds have one long term condition and a proportion have more than one. The proportion of people with long-term conditions then increases by approximately 10 per cent every decade.

However, this increase in disease is not only because of ageing but also as a result of being exposed to risks that are either environmental, social or personal, such as bad diet and sedentary behaviour.

What’s also emerging is the way loss of fitness complicates disease and accelerates increases in the fitness gap, in part because of the direct effect of that disease and the response to it in terms of treatment.

For example, the direct effect of a heart attack is on heart muscle, but it also increases risk for social reasons because other people, including professional carers and family, can assume that the onset of disease indicates the need for more “care” and less activity – whereas, scientifically, the opposite is what’s required.

This means negative beliefs and pessimistic attitudes towards health are the key factors complicating disease and loss of fitness, and these four factors relate – as shown in the diagram on the right.

Prescribing activity therapy
Of the 15 million people with long-term health conditions in the UK, about three million receive rehabilitation from highly skilled professionals. However, the remaining 13 million are simply given a pill, or a psychological intervention or some combination of the two.

What’s clear now is that all these people need activity therapy. Sometimes the activity therapy can replace the pill or psychological treatment, but often the two or three should be provided simultaneously.

Activity should be prescribed like a drug, not simply as an instruction, but as part of a process of information-giving, encouragement, facilitation and support.

We need to make use of the billions of interactions that people with long-term conditions have with doctors and nurses, health service staff and pharmacies, to keep nudging and encouraging them – but we also clearly need the full energy and skill of the fitness industry to swing in behind this drive to improve the health of the nation.

The fitness industry mostly sees people who want to reduce their risk of disease through activity, but it’s also starting to reach out to people who are living with long-term health conditions.

The launch of the new Universal Personalised Care initiative comes with the proposal to appoint 1,000 link workers whose responsibility it is to find therapeutic opportunities in addition to those provided by pharmacies, hospitals and mental health services.

This offers the best opportunity we’ve had so far to link the NHS and the fitness world in a single therapeutic alliance and we must work towards this goal with all possible haste to deliver on the Third Healthcare Revolution.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Sir Muir Gray
Sir Muir Gray
Loss of fitness due to inactivity can have wide-ranging effects on health
Loss of fitness due to inactivity can have wide-ranging effects on health
Health secretary Matt Hancock has a modern health epidemic to tackle
Health secretary Matt Hancock has a modern health epidemic to tackle
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
/ shutterstock_323449430
The fitness industry can start to reach out to those with long-term conditions / shutterstock
The fitness industry can start to reach out to those with long-term conditions / shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/27153_390840.jpg
'It's now been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy' – Sir Muir Gray on linking the activity sector with the NHS
Sir Muir Gray,Sir Muir Gray, NHS, active therapy revolution, drug therapy, operative therapy, psychological therapy, Matt Hancock,
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features

Strategy: Prescribing activity

Linking fitness professionals to the NHS

Published in Health Club Management 2019 issue 2
It’s now been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy

There have been two revolutions in healthcare. The first in the 19th Century was the Public Health Revolution in which large-scale engineering of sewers and water systems – enabled by stable government and growing wealth – reduced mortality from the great epidemics that ravaged Europe.

The most feared were cholera and typhoid – and then came the clean water revolution as a solution.

The last 50 years have seen the second wave of change, the High Tech Revolution, in which developments such as MRI, transplantation, chemotherapy and joint replacement have transformed the health of individuals and populations, when delivered by well-organised services and funded by a growing economy.

However, at the end of this second revolution, we’re facing significant challenges, with rising demand and no parallel increase in finance.

Furthermore, we know that increases in life expectancy are stalling and that the gap in life expectancy between the wealthiest and most deprived subsections of society remains stubbornly wide.

Another challenge we face is population ageing, and there are great fears about the impact of this on individuals, their families, health and social care services and the economic wealth of nations.

However recent research has demonstrated that this fear is not based on evidence and that in fact disability, dementia and frailty can be prevented or delayed, providing we embrace the third healthcare revolution – the Activity Revolution.

COMBATTING THE NEW EPIDEMIC
Inactivity is a modern epidemic. Our bodies have evolved to be active, but we now live in an environment dominated by the car, the computer and the desk job.

Just as the clean water revolution required environmental and social change and also political support, so too does the third revolution. It’s now recognised that inactivity is a major preventable cause of our modern epidemics, where cancer, heart disease and type II diabetes have replaced cholera and typhoid.

Furthermore, we now know not only that activity can prevent many common diseases, but also that it can transform their treatment. It is – in the words of the Academy Medical Royal Colleges – “the miracle cure” and it’s been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy.

THIRD healthcare revolution
Unlike the second healthcare revolution, activity therapy will not just be delivered by major hospitals and health centres. It will also harness the power of what has been called the third industrial revolution – namely citizens’ knowledge and the internet.

The real key to it is knowledge, and it’s clear that the public and many health service professionals are ignorant or muddled about the effects of ageing, loss of fitness and disease, and the great potential for prevention and treatment.

the impact of ageing
Ageing by itself isn’t a major cause of problems until people reach their mid-90s. It’s a normal biological process that reduces ability and resilience – namely the ability to respond to challenges. However, many people believe that the loss of physical capacity they experience from their 20s onwards is due to ageing, whereas it’s actually due to the modern epidemic – loss of fitness due to inactivity.

For most people, maximum ability starts to decline from their early 20s – usually when they get their first sitting job and car. A fitness gap then starts to open up between the best possible rate of decline and the actual rate of decline in their physical abilities and capacity.

For this reason loss of fitness and ageing are often confused. The picture becomes more complicated when disease occurs.

The impact of disease on fitness
About 40 per cent of 40-year-olds have one long term condition and a proportion have more than one. The proportion of people with long-term conditions then increases by approximately 10 per cent every decade.

However, this increase in disease is not only because of ageing but also as a result of being exposed to risks that are either environmental, social or personal, such as bad diet and sedentary behaviour.

What’s also emerging is the way loss of fitness complicates disease and accelerates increases in the fitness gap, in part because of the direct effect of that disease and the response to it in terms of treatment.

For example, the direct effect of a heart attack is on heart muscle, but it also increases risk for social reasons because other people, including professional carers and family, can assume that the onset of disease indicates the need for more “care” and less activity – whereas, scientifically, the opposite is what’s required.

This means negative beliefs and pessimistic attitudes towards health are the key factors complicating disease and loss of fitness, and these four factors relate – as shown in the diagram on the right.

Prescribing activity therapy
Of the 15 million people with long-term health conditions in the UK, about three million receive rehabilitation from highly skilled professionals. However, the remaining 13 million are simply given a pill, or a psychological intervention or some combination of the two.

What’s clear now is that all these people need activity therapy. Sometimes the activity therapy can replace the pill or psychological treatment, but often the two or three should be provided simultaneously.

Activity should be prescribed like a drug, not simply as an instruction, but as part of a process of information-giving, encouragement, facilitation and support.

We need to make use of the billions of interactions that people with long-term conditions have with doctors and nurses, health service staff and pharmacies, to keep nudging and encouraging them – but we also clearly need the full energy and skill of the fitness industry to swing in behind this drive to improve the health of the nation.

The fitness industry mostly sees people who want to reduce their risk of disease through activity, but it’s also starting to reach out to people who are living with long-term health conditions.

The launch of the new Universal Personalised Care initiative comes with the proposal to appoint 1,000 link workers whose responsibility it is to find therapeutic opportunities in addition to those provided by pharmacies, hospitals and mental health services.

This offers the best opportunity we’ve had so far to link the NHS and the fitness world in a single therapeutic alliance and we must work towards this goal with all possible haste to deliver on the Third Healthcare Revolution.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Sir Muir Gray
Sir Muir Gray
Loss of fitness due to inactivity can have wide-ranging effects on health
Loss of fitness due to inactivity can have wide-ranging effects on health
Health secretary Matt Hancock has a modern health epidemic to tackle
Health secretary Matt Hancock has a modern health epidemic to tackle
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
Ageing in the absence of disease needn’t be a problem until people reach their 90s / shutterstock
/ shutterstock_323449430
The fitness industry can start to reach out to those with long-term conditions / shutterstock
The fitness industry can start to reach out to those with long-term conditions / shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/imagesX/27153_390840.jpg
'It's now been agreed that the NHS needs to promote activity therapy alongside drug therapy, operative therapy and psychological therapy' – Sir Muir Gray on linking the activity sector with the NHS
Sir Muir Gray,Sir Muir Gray, NHS, active therapy revolution, drug therapy, operative therapy, psychological therapy, Matt Hancock,
Latest News
Boutique boxing gym brand BXR London will open its second full-service club in London next ...
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Entries are now open for the annual UK Active Awards. Following two years of unparalleled ...
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People with early-stage Parkinson’s should do regular exercise to slow down the progression of the ...
Latest News
Hybrid fitness platform FitLab has closed its Series A financing, bringing total capital raised to ...
Latest News
Boutique chain Trib3 will become one of the first fitness operators to establish a presence ...
Latest News
At-home fitness brand NordicTrack from iFIT has launched what it says are the first voice-controlled, ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Quoox throws down the gauntlet in fitness software arena
An increasing number of gym and studio owners are realising that the days of them needing six, eight or 10 pieces of expensive, disjointed and barely adequate software to operate their business is a thing of the past.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Innovative experience TAGactive launched at Everyone Active
Everyone Active opened its first TAGactive Arena at Lammas Leisure Centre on Bank Holiday Monday, January 3.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Double Olympic Champion Rebecca Adlington breaks ground ahead of new Rainham Leisure Centre
Everyone Active has got the New Year off to a flying start as it begins work on the brand new Rainham Leisure Centre.
Video Gallery
Mindbody, Inc
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Company profiles
Company profile: TVS Group
TVS Group includes TVS Sports Surfaces, TVS Gym Flooring, TVS Play Surfaces and TVS Acoustics. ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Perfect Gym Solutions S.A.
Perfect Gym currently provides fitness software solutions to customers in 55+ countries, servicing more than ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Tanita: Engaging insights
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Salt therapy products
Saltability: Salt therapy products
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Architects/designers
Zynk Design Consultants: Architects/designers
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Property & Tenders
Bilborough, Nottingham
Bilborough College
Property & Tenders
Welwyn Garden City
Welwyn Hatfield Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-03 Feb 2022
Coventry Building Society Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01 Mar 2022
Live Love Spa HQ, Tustin, United States
Diary dates
07-10 Apr 2022
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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