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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
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Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

We must stay ambitious

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

The industry got some major national media coverage recently when ukactive released its new report, Turning the Tide of Inactivity.

Headlines focused on the shocking social aspects: the report found people in deprived areas are having their lives cut short by ill health as a result of inactivity and lack of access to exercise.

Turning the Tide of Inactivity found that in the most deprived areas, one in three people fail to raise their pulse for even 30 minutes a month, compared to one in four in the most affluent areas. And with the most deprived local authorities accounting for 13 of the 15 least active areas in England, there’s a clear and provable correlation between wealth, activity and health.

Establishing the extent of the challenge is a vital first step, but while it’s great work by ukactive to be bringing a fresh focus to the inactivity debate, I’m less comfortable with what appears to be happening next.

That’s because the conversation is quickly turning to the optimum ways in which changes can be made to save the government the most money via its NHS expenditure. This debate is becoming – in part – an exercise in low level thinking, with recommendations, for example, focusing on ‘nudging’ people to make very small changes to their daily routines.

Talking about saving cold hard cash is the most effective way of getting the attention of government, and with this attention – importantly – comes the money to fund health interventions. However, the recommendations I’ve heard so far are so limited in ambition that we really must ask ourselves if this is the full extent of our aspirations as a sector.

The fitness industry has widened its remit to become part of the health community in recent years, and for the most part the two are a good fit, but while public health thinking is very much focused around making very small adjustments on a mass scale to achieve change, the fitness industry has always been very customer-centric and focused on achieving the best outcomes for each and every member.

We must avoid the temptation to only adopt health industry thinking, whereby we accept very low level behaviour change as being a successful outcome for purely financial reasons.

We don’t just want to feel we’ve achieved our aims if we can just get people walking up the stairs once a week to save the government a few million pounds in blood pressure medication. We must be more ambitious than that and aim to get more people from deprived areas really engaged in an active, healthy lifestyle. Anything less is patronising and cynical.

The fitness industry was founded by people passionate about the importance and value of exercise and we know that, done regularly, it works. While it’s great that we’ve found natural bedfellows with the health industry, we must continue to champion our everlasting goal of an active, healthy nation and not get sucked into the politics to the point where we lose sight of our original vision and purpose.

Liz Terry, editorial director [email protected] / twitter: @elizterry
To share your thoughts on this topic, visit www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/blog

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_4editor.gif
The fitness sector needs to ensure it's maintaining ambitious targets when it comes to getting more people more active, says Liz Terry
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features

We must stay ambitious

By Liz Terry, Leisure Media | Published in Health Club Management 2014 issue 4

The industry got some major national media coverage recently when ukactive released its new report, Turning the Tide of Inactivity.

Headlines focused on the shocking social aspects: the report found people in deprived areas are having their lives cut short by ill health as a result of inactivity and lack of access to exercise.

Turning the Tide of Inactivity found that in the most deprived areas, one in three people fail to raise their pulse for even 30 minutes a month, compared to one in four in the most affluent areas. And with the most deprived local authorities accounting for 13 of the 15 least active areas in England, there’s a clear and provable correlation between wealth, activity and health.

Establishing the extent of the challenge is a vital first step, but while it’s great work by ukactive to be bringing a fresh focus to the inactivity debate, I’m less comfortable with what appears to be happening next.

That’s because the conversation is quickly turning to the optimum ways in which changes can be made to save the government the most money via its NHS expenditure. This debate is becoming – in part – an exercise in low level thinking, with recommendations, for example, focusing on ‘nudging’ people to make very small changes to their daily routines.

Talking about saving cold hard cash is the most effective way of getting the attention of government, and with this attention – importantly – comes the money to fund health interventions. However, the recommendations I’ve heard so far are so limited in ambition that we really must ask ourselves if this is the full extent of our aspirations as a sector.

The fitness industry has widened its remit to become part of the health community in recent years, and for the most part the two are a good fit, but while public health thinking is very much focused around making very small adjustments on a mass scale to achieve change, the fitness industry has always been very customer-centric and focused on achieving the best outcomes for each and every member.

We must avoid the temptation to only adopt health industry thinking, whereby we accept very low level behaviour change as being a successful outcome for purely financial reasons.

We don’t just want to feel we’ve achieved our aims if we can just get people walking up the stairs once a week to save the government a few million pounds in blood pressure medication. We must be more ambitious than that and aim to get more people from deprived areas really engaged in an active, healthy lifestyle. Anything less is patronising and cynical.

The fitness industry was founded by people passionate about the importance and value of exercise and we know that, done regularly, it works. While it’s great that we’ve found natural bedfellows with the health industry, we must continue to champion our everlasting goal of an active, healthy nation and not get sucked into the politics to the point where we lose sight of our original vision and purpose.

Liz Terry, editorial director [email protected] / twitter: @elizterry
To share your thoughts on this topic, visit www.healthclubmanagement.co.uk/blog

http://www.leisureopportunities.com/images/HCM2014_4editor.gif
The fitness sector needs to ensure it's maintaining ambitious targets when it comes to getting more people more active, says Liz Terry
Latest News
PureGym is set to become the second largest fitness operator in Europe, after revealing plans ...
Latest News
The Glass House Retreat, a new eco-friendly health and wellness retreat, has opened in Bulphan, ...
Latest News
A large-scale study on genetics has shown that being more physically active reduces the risk ...
Latest News
The Gym Group has confirmed plans to roll out a new small box format in ...
Latest News
Representatives from the three main political parties have backed the view that physical activity has ...
Latest News
Life Leisure is expanding its facility portfolio with the launch of an independent boutique fitness ...
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Almost half of children and young people (46.8 per cent) in England are doing the ...
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A local fitness operator with 11 clubs in Chicago, US, is looking to muscle in ...
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Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: GLL chooses Ethitec’s Tiara9 system for its exercise-based public health referral schemes
The Tiara9 system has been selected by leisure trust, GLL, to support the nationwide rollout of its Healthwise GP referral programme.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier: Who does your brand belong to?
Who does your brand belong to? There used to be only one answer to this question: the company that grew it and invested in it.
Company profiles
Company profile: MoveGB
Move is the fitness marketplace connecting our partners with customers through the largest variety of ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Balanced Body®
Stocked in the UK for fast, costeffective delivery, Balanced Body® delivers versatile and space-saving mind-body ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
Physical Company Ltd: Fitness equipment
Management software
Fisikal: Management software
Audio visual
Hutchison Technologies: Audio visual
Locking solutions
Ojmar: Locking solutions
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
EXF Fitness Equipment: Exercise equipment
Direct debit solutions
Harlands Group: Direct debit solutions
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
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International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
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Diary dates
21-23 Jan 2020
Harrogate Convention Centre, Harrogate, United Kingdom
Diary dates
28-30 Jan 2020
Ericsson Exhibition Hall, Ricoh Arena, Coventry, United Kingdom
Diary dates
29-30 Jan 2020
Holiday Inn San Francisco-Golden Gateway, San Francisco, United States
Diary dates
23-25 Mar 2020
Hilton, Barcelona, Spain
Diary dates
25-26 Mar 2020
Eastwood Hall, Nottingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
19-24 Apr 2020
tbc, Beijing, China
Diary dates
04 Jun 2020
Marriott Forest of Arden Hotel & Country Club, Birmingham, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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tbc, Pinggu, China
Diary dates
13 Jun 2020
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