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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Editor's letter: We are essential

The science shows being fit mitigates against COVID-19. We’ve proven we can operate safely under the SAGE COVID-secure Framework. Time to join it up by securing essential service status

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 10
Boris Johnson has benefitted from the fitness industry / photos: PA
Boris Johnson has benefitted from the fitness industry / photos: PA
Being fit increases the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, so we’re calling on the government to keep gyms open and encourage exercise

We want to see the UK government reclassifying gyms, leisure centres and PTs as an essential service, so they can stay open to save lives and help people fight and recover from COVID-19.

Research proves exercise protects people against the virus by increasing levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) in the body. This bathes the organs and cells in a protein which protects them against COVID-19 and other pathogens.

As a result, people who exercise are less likely to be hospitalised with the virus; if they’re hospitalised, they’re less likely to need to be ventilated; and if they need to be ventilated they’re less likely to die.

Being fit also increases the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, so we’re calling on the government to keep gyms and leisure centres open, to encourage people to exercise and keep their body fat percentage under control, so we can fight the virus and prepare for a successful vaccine programme.

These are just two of the multitude of physical and mental health benefits which come from enabling people to keep fit – something that comes at no cost to the exchequer.

Boris Johnson has benefitted from the power of the fitness industry in his post-COVID recovery and weight loss and it’s vital this option is extended to everyone, rather than just being for the elite, with their home gyms.

The idea of essential service status was first proposed in October by Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, and would see gyms and leisure centres placed in the same category as things such as supermarkets, banks and chemists.

On page 45 of this issue of HCM, policymakers make the case to government for essential service status, with professor Greg Whyte, chair of the ukactive Scientific Advisory Board, arguing that the sector is already fulfilling this role, citing – for example – that 66 per cent of the nation’s cancer rehab and prehap services delivered in gyms and leisure centres by Level 4 staff.

With the threat of further lockdowns looming, getting essential service recognition for our sector must be our number one priority and we hope the case will be robustly argued in the upcoming Parliamentary debate on reopening gyms on 23 November.

The fitness industry has proven it’s COVID-secure and meets the SAGE-approved guidelines for safe operations. It’s time the government looked at the science and let us stay open, so we can continue our valuable work supporting the NHS and enabling people to exercise their fundamental human right to self care and exercise, rather than paying lipservice to science, while making populist decisions which do nothing but undermine the health of the nation.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/896199_429146.jpg
The science shows being fit mitigates against COVID-19. It's time to secure essential service status says HCM editor Liz Terry
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features

Editor's letter: We are essential

The science shows being fit mitigates against COVID-19. We’ve proven we can operate safely under the SAGE COVID-secure Framework. Time to join it up by securing essential service status

Published in Health Club Management 2020 issue 10
Boris Johnson has benefitted from the fitness industry / photos: PA
Boris Johnson has benefitted from the fitness industry / photos: PA
Being fit increases the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, so we’re calling on the government to keep gyms open and encourage exercise

We want to see the UK government reclassifying gyms, leisure centres and PTs as an essential service, so they can stay open to save lives and help people fight and recover from COVID-19.

Research proves exercise protects people against the virus by increasing levels of extracellular superoxide dismutase (ecSOD) in the body. This bathes the organs and cells in a protein which protects them against COVID-19 and other pathogens.

As a result, people who exercise are less likely to be hospitalised with the virus; if they’re hospitalised, they’re less likely to need to be ventilated; and if they need to be ventilated they’re less likely to die.

Being fit also increases the efficacy of COVID-19 vaccines, so we’re calling on the government to keep gyms and leisure centres open, to encourage people to exercise and keep their body fat percentage under control, so we can fight the virus and prepare for a successful vaccine programme.

These are just two of the multitude of physical and mental health benefits which come from enabling people to keep fit – something that comes at no cost to the exchequer.

Boris Johnson has benefitted from the power of the fitness industry in his post-COVID recovery and weight loss and it’s vital this option is extended to everyone, rather than just being for the elite, with their home gyms.

The idea of essential service status was first proposed in October by Huw Edwards, CEO of ukactive, and would see gyms and leisure centres placed in the same category as things such as supermarkets, banks and chemists.

On page 45 of this issue of HCM, policymakers make the case to government for essential service status, with professor Greg Whyte, chair of the ukactive Scientific Advisory Board, arguing that the sector is already fulfilling this role, citing – for example – that 66 per cent of the nation’s cancer rehab and prehap services delivered in gyms and leisure centres by Level 4 staff.

With the threat of further lockdowns looming, getting essential service recognition for our sector must be our number one priority and we hope the case will be robustly argued in the upcoming Parliamentary debate on reopening gyms on 23 November.

The fitness industry has proven it’s COVID-secure and meets the SAGE-approved guidelines for safe operations. It’s time the government looked at the science and let us stay open, so we can continue our valuable work supporting the NHS and enabling people to exercise their fundamental human right to self care and exercise, rather than paying lipservice to science, while making populist decisions which do nothing but undermine the health of the nation.

Liz Terry, HCM editor
[email protected]
@elizterry
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2020/896199_429146.jpg
The science shows being fit mitigates against COVID-19. It's time to secure essential service status says HCM editor Liz Terry
Latest News
PM, Boris Johnson, has confirmed that gyms, swimming pools and leisure centres in England will ...
Latest News
The re-opening of gyms in Wales has been pushed back by the country's First Minister ...
Latest News
The physical and mental health of women in the UK has been put under unprecedented ...
Latest News
Excess body fat and obesity are likely to have contributed to more deaths in England ...
Latest News
The financial performance of health club operator SATS in the last quarter of 2020 was ...
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FIBO has announced that its Chinese event next month will be held as a hybrid ...
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Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be ...
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Data published today (17 February) shows that for every 100,000 visits to UK gyms and ...
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L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Company profiles
Company profile: Safe Space Lockers
Safe Space have over 25 years of experience in the UK leisure and fitness industry, ...
Company profiles
Company profile: FunXtion International BV
Unlock your club’s digital potential with the FunXtion Platform. Deliver engaging and immersive digital fitness ...
Supplier Showcases
Supplier showcase - Egym: Game changer
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Fitness equipment
Octane Fitness: Fitness equipment
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Flooring
REGUPOL/Berleburger Schaumstoffwerk (BSW): Flooring
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Fitlockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
23-26 Feb 2021
IFEMA, Madrid, Spain
Diary dates
03-04 Mar 2021
NEC, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-06 Jun 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
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
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
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tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
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