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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Talkback: Health messaging

The Royal Society of Public Health has outlined proposals to cast the net wider in terms of health messaging, getting non health-related professionals involved. Where do health clubs fit in?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 10
An initial chat at the bar could spur people to seek more information / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
An initial chat at the bar could spur people to seek more information / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

P eople in public-facing jobs such as firemen, postal workers, hairdressers and bar staff could be given a formal role in imparting health messages if recent proposals by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) – put together with input from Public Health England, the Centre for Workforce Intelligence, Allied Health Professionals and the Department of Health – come into force.

Initially the idea seems rather bizarre. Do people really want to be lectured – during their leisure time no less – by bar staff and hairdressers telling them to give up smoking and drink less? Could such tactics be detrimental for business, dissuading people from visiting their local?

And how qualified to offer advice does the public perceive these people to be anyway, when they might need to make lifestyle changes themselves?

All that said, such schemes aren’t without precedent. Already in Jersey, postal workers are given a secondary role to check up on frail elderly people who live alone; they also collect their prescriptions as part of their job description. Meanwhile betting chain Ladbrokes welcomes the RSPH proposals, having already tested out a similar concept of its own. Recognising the fact that many of its punters are hard to reach in terms of health messaging, it supported Men’s Health Week in June of this year with the aim of raising awareness of lifestyle changes that could lead to a healthier life.

Grainne Hurst, Ladbrokes’ director of corporate affairs, says the poster, leaflet and social media campaign “challenged men to think about drinking sensibly, watching their weight, quitting smoking, being active and turning up for their NHS health checks”.

However, the RSPH proposals want to push this idea much further. Rather than having promotional material on display, staff will be required to engage with customers. With the right training, could this be the key to widespread lifestyle change? And where does the health club industry fit into the plans? We ask the experts....

Do your staff know how to start ‘healthy conversations’? Email us [email protected]

Shirley Cramer,

CEO,

RSPH

Shirley Cramer
Shirley Cramer

“We’ve been working with a number of organisations about how we can achieve a radical uplift in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, which are often caused by lifestyle factors.

There are 15 million people in the UK who work in occupational groups, who have frequent face-to-face contact with the public. These people could be trained to have healthy conversations and signpost local groups and services, such as smoking cessation programmes.

We’re not talking about a forced conversation, but if the door is open, we want people to be equipped and confident to offer appropriate advice. For example, a hairdresser might be able to recommend a walking group to a client who is feeling isolated after suffering a bereavement.

We’d like to engage the health club sector, but with a broader brief. For example, health clubs could start offering NHS Health Checks, as well as services such as measuring BMI and blood pressure and running falls prevention programmes. Tower Hamlets GPs already do social prescribing – such as prescribing a charitable lunch club for someone suffering from depression – and there’s an opportunity for the health club industry to play this sort of role too. ”

Mike Taylor,

Director,

British Barbers’ Association

Mike Taylor
Mike Taylor

“Hairdressers and barbers develop close relationships with their clients, so this could work well, but with some important caveats. They wouldn’t want to preach – that could be bad for business – and only be the most professional, credible hairdressers and salons should be given the training to offer this advice. There are many unqualified people in the industry.

You can tell a lot about someone from the condition of their hair and scalp: how much they drink and smoke, if they’re stressed, or if moles are changing. Telling people you’ve noticed a change in their hair is a good starting point for a conversation, but there are limits to what they would talk about, since many hairdressers also drink and smoke.

Barbers are open to tie-ups with the health and fitness industry. This year, the British Barbers’ Association is working with Movember to find more ways of generating cash: we’re encouraging barbers to ask local gyms if they can borrow an exercise bike for the duration of the Movember campaign. In my shop, we’re going to cycle from Bournemouth to Thailand. Staff will hop on between clients and I’m going to get people who are waiting to go on it too. We’ll invite local gyms to hand out leaflets and see if they could spare PTs to chat to people. ”

Brigid Simmonds,

CEO,

British Beer & Pub Association

Brigid Simmonds
Brigid Simmonds

“Complex health messages are best communicated by a health professional, but I think bar staff could provide information around food and drink issues, and signpost people to where they can get further information or support.

Bar staff are often people with whom conversation is natural about a wide range of issues, but I would certainly be cautious about adopting a more hard-sell approach – one that could be seen as lecturing customers – or seeking to provide detailed advice. It’s more about starting a conversation and making sure information is available to customers to let them make their own choices, or to seek further information. I think it’s important to keep these things low-key, ensuring bar staff don’t have a duty of care but that they’re equipped to provide information to customers if they need or ask for it.

The BBPA has spearheaded a unit awareness campaign, with posters and other materials, to help start a conversation around units in drinks. Many of our members have increased the choice available in the lower-alcohol category. There can also be a role for pubs as facilitators of wider initiatives such as Club Soda, where people meet in pubs to enjoy low, or no, alcohol drinks in the great atmosphere. ”

Claire MacDonald,

Behaviour change specialist,

NHS

Claire MacDonald
Claire MacDonald

“It’s important to realise we can’t rely on clinicians alone to impart health messages: we need to encourage more people to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

We can’t use commercial environments to improve public health if it has negative impact on the custom, but done well, this could boost customer relationships. Both bar staff and hairdressers know their customers and are typically good conversationalists: it would be good to give them an improved knowledge base so they could offer an opinion and give out some beneficial messages. However, I think it would have to be a light conversation – one that could be the catalyst to encourage individuals to look elsewhere for specialist help.

The health club industry certainly has a role to play here, because it’s in the perfect position. Hairdressers can’t weigh people, but health clubs can. They can also have honest conversations about health, and do blood pressure and BMI checks. Health clubs could also be imparting more dietary advice: tell members about MyFitnessPal and encourage them to stop the compensatory behaviour of having a latte and a muffin because they feel they’ve earned it. Make sure healthy food and drink options are on offer and talk about them. ”

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https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/288346_252941.jpg
Would you listen to health advice from your hairdresser or barman?
SHIRLEY CRAMER, CEO, RSPH MIKE TAYLOR, Director, British Barbers’ Association BRIGID SIMMONDS, CEO, British Beer & Pub Association CLAIRE MACDONALD, Behaviour change specialist, NHS,Royal Society of Public Health, hairdressers, bar staff, health messages, Ladbrokes, barbers, pubs, Shirley Cramer, Mike Taylor, Brigid Simmonds, Claire MacDonald, behaviour change, Kath Hudson
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features

Talkback: Health messaging

The Royal Society of Public Health has outlined proposals to cast the net wider in terms of health messaging, getting non health-related professionals involved. Where do health clubs fit in?

By Kath Hudson | Published in Health Club Management 2015 issue 10
An initial chat at the bar could spur people to seek more information / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM
An initial chat at the bar could spur people to seek more information / PHOTO: SHUTTERSTOCK.COM

P eople in public-facing jobs such as firemen, postal workers, hairdressers and bar staff could be given a formal role in imparting health messages if recent proposals by the Royal Society of Public Health (RSPH) – put together with input from Public Health England, the Centre for Workforce Intelligence, Allied Health Professionals and the Department of Health – come into force.

Initially the idea seems rather bizarre. Do people really want to be lectured – during their leisure time no less – by bar staff and hairdressers telling them to give up smoking and drink less? Could such tactics be detrimental for business, dissuading people from visiting their local?

And how qualified to offer advice does the public perceive these people to be anyway, when they might need to make lifestyle changes themselves?

All that said, such schemes aren’t without precedent. Already in Jersey, postal workers are given a secondary role to check up on frail elderly people who live alone; they also collect their prescriptions as part of their job description. Meanwhile betting chain Ladbrokes welcomes the RSPH proposals, having already tested out a similar concept of its own. Recognising the fact that many of its punters are hard to reach in terms of health messaging, it supported Men’s Health Week in June of this year with the aim of raising awareness of lifestyle changes that could lead to a healthier life.

Grainne Hurst, Ladbrokes’ director of corporate affairs, says the poster, leaflet and social media campaign “challenged men to think about drinking sensibly, watching their weight, quitting smoking, being active and turning up for their NHS health checks”.

However, the RSPH proposals want to push this idea much further. Rather than having promotional material on display, staff will be required to engage with customers. With the right training, could this be the key to widespread lifestyle change? And where does the health club industry fit into the plans? We ask the experts....

Do your staff know how to start ‘healthy conversations’? Email us [email protected]

Shirley Cramer,

CEO,

RSPH

Shirley Cramer
Shirley Cramer

“We’ve been working with a number of organisations about how we can achieve a radical uplift in the prevention of non-communicable diseases, which are often caused by lifestyle factors.

There are 15 million people in the UK who work in occupational groups, who have frequent face-to-face contact with the public. These people could be trained to have healthy conversations and signpost local groups and services, such as smoking cessation programmes.

We’re not talking about a forced conversation, but if the door is open, we want people to be equipped and confident to offer appropriate advice. For example, a hairdresser might be able to recommend a walking group to a client who is feeling isolated after suffering a bereavement.

We’d like to engage the health club sector, but with a broader brief. For example, health clubs could start offering NHS Health Checks, as well as services such as measuring BMI and blood pressure and running falls prevention programmes. Tower Hamlets GPs already do social prescribing – such as prescribing a charitable lunch club for someone suffering from depression – and there’s an opportunity for the health club industry to play this sort of role too. ”

Mike Taylor,

Director,

British Barbers’ Association

Mike Taylor
Mike Taylor

“Hairdressers and barbers develop close relationships with their clients, so this could work well, but with some important caveats. They wouldn’t want to preach – that could be bad for business – and only be the most professional, credible hairdressers and salons should be given the training to offer this advice. There are many unqualified people in the industry.

You can tell a lot about someone from the condition of their hair and scalp: how much they drink and smoke, if they’re stressed, or if moles are changing. Telling people you’ve noticed a change in their hair is a good starting point for a conversation, but there are limits to what they would talk about, since many hairdressers also drink and smoke.

Barbers are open to tie-ups with the health and fitness industry. This year, the British Barbers’ Association is working with Movember to find more ways of generating cash: we’re encouraging barbers to ask local gyms if they can borrow an exercise bike for the duration of the Movember campaign. In my shop, we’re going to cycle from Bournemouth to Thailand. Staff will hop on between clients and I’m going to get people who are waiting to go on it too. We’ll invite local gyms to hand out leaflets and see if they could spare PTs to chat to people. ”

Brigid Simmonds,

CEO,

British Beer & Pub Association

Brigid Simmonds
Brigid Simmonds

“Complex health messages are best communicated by a health professional, but I think bar staff could provide information around food and drink issues, and signpost people to where they can get further information or support.

Bar staff are often people with whom conversation is natural about a wide range of issues, but I would certainly be cautious about adopting a more hard-sell approach – one that could be seen as lecturing customers – or seeking to provide detailed advice. It’s more about starting a conversation and making sure information is available to customers to let them make their own choices, or to seek further information. I think it’s important to keep these things low-key, ensuring bar staff don’t have a duty of care but that they’re equipped to provide information to customers if they need or ask for it.

The BBPA has spearheaded a unit awareness campaign, with posters and other materials, to help start a conversation around units in drinks. Many of our members have increased the choice available in the lower-alcohol category. There can also be a role for pubs as facilitators of wider initiatives such as Club Soda, where people meet in pubs to enjoy low, or no, alcohol drinks in the great atmosphere. ”

Claire MacDonald,

Behaviour change specialist,

NHS

Claire MacDonald
Claire MacDonald

“It’s important to realise we can’t rely on clinicians alone to impart health messages: we need to encourage more people to be part of the solution, rather than part of the problem.

We can’t use commercial environments to improve public health if it has negative impact on the custom, but done well, this could boost customer relationships. Both bar staff and hairdressers know their customers and are typically good conversationalists: it would be good to give them an improved knowledge base so they could offer an opinion and give out some beneficial messages. However, I think it would have to be a light conversation – one that could be the catalyst to encourage individuals to look elsewhere for specialist help.

The health club industry certainly has a role to play here, because it’s in the perfect position. Hairdressers can’t weigh people, but health clubs can. They can also have honest conversations about health, and do blood pressure and BMI checks. Health clubs could also be imparting more dietary advice: tell members about MyFitnessPal and encourage them to stop the compensatory behaviour of having a latte and a muffin because they feel they’ve earned it. Make sure healthy food and drink options are on offer and talk about them. ”

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/288346_252941.jpg
Would you listen to health advice from your hairdresser or barman?
SHIRLEY CRAMER, CEO, RSPH MIKE TAYLOR, Director, British Barbers’ Association BRIGID SIMMONDS, CEO, British Beer & Pub Association CLAIRE MACDONALD, Behaviour change specialist, NHS,Royal Society of Public Health, hairdressers, bar staff, health messages, Ladbrokes, barbers, pubs, Shirley Cramer, Mike Taylor, Brigid Simmonds, Claire MacDonald, behaviour change, Kath Hudson
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Company profile: IONTO Health & Beauty GmbH
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Company profile: Incorpore Limited
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Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
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Lockers/interior design
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Independent service & maintenance
Servicesport UK Limited: Independent service & maintenance
Member feedback software
AskNicely: Member feedback software
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International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
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Volution.fit: Software
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11 - 25 Union St, London SE1 1SD
Bankside Open Spaces Trust
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Diary dates
02-04 Feb 2021
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
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