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FITNESS, HEALTH, WELLNESS

features

Letters: Write to reply

Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email:[email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4

Joining the dots of activity provision

We must do more to bridge the gap between rehab and fitness / shutterstock
We must do more to bridge the gap between rehab and fitness / shutterstock
Jacqueline Bennett,

Co-founder,

belap


I read your editor’s letter entitled ‘When sport meets fitness’ (HCM Feb 16, p3) and agree with everything you said. It’s so important that we work to dismantle artificial distinctions between different areas of activity, and I believe health clubs have the opportunity to take this on board.  

I badly broke my leg and ankle last year, and it’s been very interesting to see how the various phases of injury, operation, recuperation and rehab pan out. Generally I’ve found a lack of information on, and tie-up between, the operation and immediate after-care (hospital), outreach services once home (mainly physios), GP services, and local health and fitness deliverers (sports centres, gyms etc).  

There must be hundreds of thousands of people in the UK undergoing surgery for injuries, but I can’t see where these people are catered for. It’s something that health and sports centres (and even GP surgeries) could be leading on.  

GP referral systems may not reach this group, and while physio in a hospital setting is greatly welcome, for someone like me who’s been very active physically, it may not be enough. However, going to a regular gym would be very difficult unless special sessions were arranged. Sports injury clinics don’t seem to address this need either.

Perhaps we tend to think of people as being either active or inactive, fit or unfit, healthy or unhealthy, disabled or able-bodied. But it’s a much more fluid picture. For at least five months, I was effectively disabled, and it gave me a great insight into how dealing with decreased mobility affects keeping fit generally. The design and accessibility of our fitness centres, services and resources must be able to deal with people dipping in and out of these situations.

Creating experiences is key to engaging Millennials

The Millennial generation craves ‘shareable’ experiences; fitness clubs must find ways to meet this growing demand
The Millennial generation craves ‘shareable’ experiences; fitness clubs must find ways to meet this growing demand
Lee Myall,

Co-founder,

Jumptastic


I read your 2016 Fitness Foresight trends report (HCM Feb 16, p38) and thought it was fantastic to see ‘The Sharing Economy’ included – the art of creating experiences for Millennials to make them engage, feel a part of something and want to spread the word. Ken Hughes hit the nail on the head when he said: “Shareable experiences are the new social currency.”

Social media is now woven into our industry, with ‘sharing’ playing a huge part in this; when writing this letter, the #fitspo hashtag had 27,000,000 posts on Instagram alone. Companies like Color Run and Tough Mudder are capitalising on this, offering a shareable experience – but why is the rest of the fitness industry still playing catch-up?

It’s about making fitness fun again – something you want to talk about with your friends, family or all your social media followers.

After all, there’s nothing more powerful than word of mouth recommendations. If we get this right, we won’t need to rely on traditional advertising methods to drive footfall through our doors.

Avoiding disability discrimination

If you have disabled employees, be aware of recent changes in the law / PHOTOS: SHUTTERstock.com
If you have disabled employees, be aware of recent changes in the law / PHOTOS: SHUTTERstock.com
Jessica Higgins,

Employment law specialist,

Ibex Gale


A recent legal decision has provided clarification for UK employers on how to deal with long-term absence among disabled employees, reducing the risk of disability discrimination. Here is a summary of the key points.

Employers are already required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees where such employees face a substantial disadvantage. For example, a diabetic employee may require flexible working hours to eat regularly and test blood sugar levels.   

But when a disabled employee is absent on long-term sick leave, is an employer required to make adjustments to any sickness absence policy? For example, a standard absence policy might include trigger points whereby an employee is automatically disciplined after a certain number of absences – but a disabled employee may have more sickness absence. Should adjustments be made accordingly?

The recent decision confirms that the duty to consider adjustments does apply where a disabled employee’s absences trigger the application of an absence policy. However, employers can determine whether it’s reasonable to adjust the rules of the policy in the particular circumstances of the case. 

If the disabled employee has been absent for a lengthy period and/or further absences are likely, it might be reasonable to take into account any disability-related absences for the purposes of trigger points. But where there’s an initial/one-off absence that’s disability-related, it may still be reasonable to discount it for the purposes of a trigger.

Professional advice should be taken before dismissing any adjustments as unreasonable, or if you’re considering dismissing a disabled employee for disability-related absences. In the latter situation, this would amount to disability discrimination that would require justification.

Understanding health & safety

Trampolining needs to develop best practice guidlines in health and safety
Trampolining needs to develop best practice guidlines in health and safety
Gill Twel,

Head of group operations,

Right Directions 


Rather than posing a threat, the UK’s new sentencing guidelines for safety offences – which came into effect on 1 February 2016 – should provide an easy reference for operators, who until now may not have fully understood the implications of a lack of, or disregard for, health and safety. No operation can be perfect all the time, and knowing where culpability, accountability and responsibility lie will afford a greater level of protection.

Instead of worrying about the fines – which could be up to 24 times higher than before – operators should use this change in law as a timely reminder to look at their company procedures, check they’re following current legislation and best practice, and get up to date with staff training. A health and safety compliance audit could highlight any issues and provide guidance on solutions, particularly in areas that aren’t yet regulated.

A prime example is the rise in popularity of trampoline parks. Although there’s currently no formal regulated guidance, it’s important all hazards and risks have been considered in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act, and we’re now working with three trampoline park operators to help with health and safety best practice.

For more information on the new sentencing guidance, visit www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk

Online enquiries: Speed is of the essence

If someone makes an online enquiry, respond quickly / shutterstock
If someone makes an online enquiry, respond quickly / shutterstock
Lesley Aitken,

Founder,

Nurturing Skills


Your recent feature entitled ‘Can your staff sell?’ (HCM Feb 16, p64) offers great food for thought and complements research we carried out with Leisure-net Solutions into online enquiries.

A staggering 50 per cent of all membership enquiries are now made this way, yet we found it took an average of 30 hours for operators to respond. Only 20 per cent of enquirers then received a phone call from the membership sales team; 60 per cent received an email; and a shameful 20 per cent received no contact at all.

Speed of response to an online enquiry is key. Our quick tips are:
• Make sure your website is up to the job and that your online enquiry form captures as much information as possible
• Quickly respond with a personalised acknowledgement, inviting the prospect to take a tour
• Pick up the phone within 15 minutes of the enquiry

As your feature points out, the quality of response is key too. Every enquirer is driven by a personal and emotional response, and joining your facility involves a sensitive decision-making process. So when the sales team calls, it’s important they have the skills, training and confidence to build rapport and demonstrate how your club will provide the ideal solution.

Harness apps to build a community

Sharing data can actually help build community
Sharing data can actually help build community
Jonathan Griffiths,

Business development manager,

Precor EMEA Partners


Without doubt, apps can encourage people to set goals and be more active, so I was heartened to read that the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has referenced technology and apps in its new sports strategy, Sporting Future. However, I believe it’s the sense of community that apps can foster that’s key – whether that’s within a gym or an online community.

For example, I’ve linked my Preva (Precor’s networked fitness solution) and Movescount accounts, meaning my Preva workout data automatically syncs with Movescount. Here there are a number of different community groups – friends, as well as groups set up for specific events. This not only encourages me to log workouts, but also to have a purpose for that data: I can track how I’m doing compared to others, comment on their activity and get involved in group discussions about training methods.

 It’s essential that non-active people have human interaction too, but apps can also play a part in this. For example, a personal trainer can use apps to keep an eye on clients’ goals, workouts and achievements, allowing them to encourage and praise the member and help them become part of a community within the gym.

Ultimately it’s the people we share our data with – and with it our experiences – that will make a gym membership sustainable. By creating a community, whether it’s led by a PT or through a group where people share their workouts, you can keep people engaged and coming back for more.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Having instructors on-hand to help is key to the Mrs.Sporty philosophy
Having instructors on-hand to help is key to the Mrs.Sporty philosophy
PIXformance will be the model for all new franchises
PIXformance will be the model for all new franchises
PIXformance enables the clubs to closely measure members’ results
PIXformance enables the clubs to closely measure members’ results
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2016_4letter.jpg
Joining the dots between fitness and rehab, and creating a community through apps
Jacqueline Bennett, Co-founder, belap Lee Myall, Co-founder, Jumptastic Jessica Higgins, Employment law specialist, Ibex Gale Gill Twell, Head of group operations, Right Directions  Lesley Aitken, Founder, Nurturing Skills Jonathan Griffiths, Business development manager, Precor EMEA Partners,Jacqueline Bennett, belap, rehab, apps, community, Jonathan Griffiths, Precor, Millennials, Lee Myall, Jumptastic, health and safety, Gill Twell, Right Directions, Jessica Higgins, Jessica Higgins, Ibex Gale, disability, discrimination, Lesley Aitken, Nurturing Skills, online enquiry
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features

Letters: Write to reply

Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email:[email protected]

Published in Health Club Management 2016 issue 4

Joining the dots of activity provision

We must do more to bridge the gap between rehab and fitness / shutterstock
We must do more to bridge the gap between rehab and fitness / shutterstock
Jacqueline Bennett,

Co-founder,

belap


I read your editor’s letter entitled ‘When sport meets fitness’ (HCM Feb 16, p3) and agree with everything you said. It’s so important that we work to dismantle artificial distinctions between different areas of activity, and I believe health clubs have the opportunity to take this on board.  

I badly broke my leg and ankle last year, and it’s been very interesting to see how the various phases of injury, operation, recuperation and rehab pan out. Generally I’ve found a lack of information on, and tie-up between, the operation and immediate after-care (hospital), outreach services once home (mainly physios), GP services, and local health and fitness deliverers (sports centres, gyms etc).  

There must be hundreds of thousands of people in the UK undergoing surgery for injuries, but I can’t see where these people are catered for. It’s something that health and sports centres (and even GP surgeries) could be leading on.  

GP referral systems may not reach this group, and while physio in a hospital setting is greatly welcome, for someone like me who’s been very active physically, it may not be enough. However, going to a regular gym would be very difficult unless special sessions were arranged. Sports injury clinics don’t seem to address this need either.

Perhaps we tend to think of people as being either active or inactive, fit or unfit, healthy or unhealthy, disabled or able-bodied. But it’s a much more fluid picture. For at least five months, I was effectively disabled, and it gave me a great insight into how dealing with decreased mobility affects keeping fit generally. The design and accessibility of our fitness centres, services and resources must be able to deal with people dipping in and out of these situations.

Creating experiences is key to engaging Millennials

The Millennial generation craves ‘shareable’ experiences; fitness clubs must find ways to meet this growing demand
The Millennial generation craves ‘shareable’ experiences; fitness clubs must find ways to meet this growing demand
Lee Myall,

Co-founder,

Jumptastic


I read your 2016 Fitness Foresight trends report (HCM Feb 16, p38) and thought it was fantastic to see ‘The Sharing Economy’ included – the art of creating experiences for Millennials to make them engage, feel a part of something and want to spread the word. Ken Hughes hit the nail on the head when he said: “Shareable experiences are the new social currency.”

Social media is now woven into our industry, with ‘sharing’ playing a huge part in this; when writing this letter, the #fitspo hashtag had 27,000,000 posts on Instagram alone. Companies like Color Run and Tough Mudder are capitalising on this, offering a shareable experience – but why is the rest of the fitness industry still playing catch-up?

It’s about making fitness fun again – something you want to talk about with your friends, family or all your social media followers.

After all, there’s nothing more powerful than word of mouth recommendations. If we get this right, we won’t need to rely on traditional advertising methods to drive footfall through our doors.

Avoiding disability discrimination

If you have disabled employees, be aware of recent changes in the law / PHOTOS: SHUTTERstock.com
If you have disabled employees, be aware of recent changes in the law / PHOTOS: SHUTTERstock.com
Jessica Higgins,

Employment law specialist,

Ibex Gale


A recent legal decision has provided clarification for UK employers on how to deal with long-term absence among disabled employees, reducing the risk of disability discrimination. Here is a summary of the key points.

Employers are already required to make reasonable adjustments for disabled employees where such employees face a substantial disadvantage. For example, a diabetic employee may require flexible working hours to eat regularly and test blood sugar levels.   

But when a disabled employee is absent on long-term sick leave, is an employer required to make adjustments to any sickness absence policy? For example, a standard absence policy might include trigger points whereby an employee is automatically disciplined after a certain number of absences – but a disabled employee may have more sickness absence. Should adjustments be made accordingly?

The recent decision confirms that the duty to consider adjustments does apply where a disabled employee’s absences trigger the application of an absence policy. However, employers can determine whether it’s reasonable to adjust the rules of the policy in the particular circumstances of the case. 

If the disabled employee has been absent for a lengthy period and/or further absences are likely, it might be reasonable to take into account any disability-related absences for the purposes of trigger points. But where there’s an initial/one-off absence that’s disability-related, it may still be reasonable to discount it for the purposes of a trigger.

Professional advice should be taken before dismissing any adjustments as unreasonable, or if you’re considering dismissing a disabled employee for disability-related absences. In the latter situation, this would amount to disability discrimination that would require justification.

Understanding health & safety

Trampolining needs to develop best practice guidlines in health and safety
Trampolining needs to develop best practice guidlines in health and safety
Gill Twel,

Head of group operations,

Right Directions 


Rather than posing a threat, the UK’s new sentencing guidelines for safety offences – which came into effect on 1 February 2016 – should provide an easy reference for operators, who until now may not have fully understood the implications of a lack of, or disregard for, health and safety. No operation can be perfect all the time, and knowing where culpability, accountability and responsibility lie will afford a greater level of protection.

Instead of worrying about the fines – which could be up to 24 times higher than before – operators should use this change in law as a timely reminder to look at their company procedures, check they’re following current legislation and best practice, and get up to date with staff training. A health and safety compliance audit could highlight any issues and provide guidance on solutions, particularly in areas that aren’t yet regulated.

A prime example is the rise in popularity of trampoline parks. Although there’s currently no formal regulated guidance, it’s important all hazards and risks have been considered in line with the Health and Safety at Work Act, and we’re now working with three trampoline park operators to help with health and safety best practice.

For more information on the new sentencing guidance, visit www.sentencingcouncil.org.uk

Online enquiries: Speed is of the essence

If someone makes an online enquiry, respond quickly / shutterstock
If someone makes an online enquiry, respond quickly / shutterstock
Lesley Aitken,

Founder,

Nurturing Skills


Your recent feature entitled ‘Can your staff sell?’ (HCM Feb 16, p64) offers great food for thought and complements research we carried out with Leisure-net Solutions into online enquiries.

A staggering 50 per cent of all membership enquiries are now made this way, yet we found it took an average of 30 hours for operators to respond. Only 20 per cent of enquirers then received a phone call from the membership sales team; 60 per cent received an email; and a shameful 20 per cent received no contact at all.

Speed of response to an online enquiry is key. Our quick tips are:
• Make sure your website is up to the job and that your online enquiry form captures as much information as possible
• Quickly respond with a personalised acknowledgement, inviting the prospect to take a tour
• Pick up the phone within 15 minutes of the enquiry

As your feature points out, the quality of response is key too. Every enquirer is driven by a personal and emotional response, and joining your facility involves a sensitive decision-making process. So when the sales team calls, it’s important they have the skills, training and confidence to build rapport and demonstrate how your club will provide the ideal solution.

Harness apps to build a community

Sharing data can actually help build community
Sharing data can actually help build community
Jonathan Griffiths,

Business development manager,

Precor EMEA Partners


Without doubt, apps can encourage people to set goals and be more active, so I was heartened to read that the UK’s Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) has referenced technology and apps in its new sports strategy, Sporting Future. However, I believe it’s the sense of community that apps can foster that’s key – whether that’s within a gym or an online community.

For example, I’ve linked my Preva (Precor’s networked fitness solution) and Movescount accounts, meaning my Preva workout data automatically syncs with Movescount. Here there are a number of different community groups – friends, as well as groups set up for specific events. This not only encourages me to log workouts, but also to have a purpose for that data: I can track how I’m doing compared to others, comment on their activity and get involved in group discussions about training methods.

 It’s essential that non-active people have human interaction too, but apps can also play a part in this. For example, a personal trainer can use apps to keep an eye on clients’ goals, workouts and achievements, allowing them to encourage and praise the member and help them become part of a community within the gym.

Ultimately it’s the people we share our data with – and with it our experiences – that will make a gym membership sustainable. By creating a community, whether it’s led by a PT or through a group where people share their workouts, you can keep people engaged and coming back for more.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
Having instructors on-hand to help is key to the Mrs.Sporty philosophy
Having instructors on-hand to help is key to the Mrs.Sporty philosophy
PIXformance will be the model for all new franchises
PIXformance will be the model for all new franchises
PIXformance enables the clubs to closely measure members’ results
PIXformance enables the clubs to closely measure members’ results
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/HCM2016_4letter.jpg
Joining the dots between fitness and rehab, and creating a community through apps
Jacqueline Bennett, Co-founder, belap Lee Myall, Co-founder, Jumptastic Jessica Higgins, Employment law specialist, Ibex Gale Gill Twell, Head of group operations, Right Directions  Lesley Aitken, Founder, Nurturing Skills Jonathan Griffiths, Business development manager, Precor EMEA Partners,Jacqueline Bennett, belap, rehab, apps, community, Jonathan Griffiths, Precor, Millennials, Lee Myall, Jumptastic, health and safety, Gill Twell, Right Directions, Jessica Higgins, Jessica Higgins, Ibex Gale, disability, discrimination, Lesley Aitken, Nurturing Skills, online enquiry
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Study Active has legally acquired the name “Premier Global” and select Premier Global branding assets from Assessment Technologies Institute LLC, part of Ascend Learning in the US.
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Company profile: GANTNER
GANTNER optimizes and simplifies the organisation of fitness clubs....
Company profiles
Company profile: Wattbike
Wattbike is chosen by the world’s top sporting teams, elite athletes, coaches, plus hundreds of ...
Supplier Showcase
Supplier showcase - Jon Williams
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Featured press releases
Greenwich Leisure Limited press release: ‘Better’ managers get a ‘taste’ for volunteering
The management team from ‘Better’ leisure centres in the Lewisham area is looking for local projects that need a helping hand.
Featured press releases
KeepMe press release: Gymnation appoints Keepme CEO Ian Mullane to board of directors
The fastest growing gym chain based out of the GCC has appointed Keepme’s CEO, Ian Mullane to its board of directors.
Directory
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Cryotherapy
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Lockers
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers
Snowroom
TechnoAlpin SpA: Snowroom
Property & Tenders
Loughton, IG10
Knight Frank
Property & Tenders
Grantham, Leicestershire
Belvoir Castle
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
22-24 Apr 2024
Galgorm Resort, York,
Diary dates
10-12 May 2024
China Import & Export Fair Complex, Guangzhou, China
Diary dates
23-24 May 2024
Large Hall of the Chamber of Commerce (Erbprinzenpalais), Wiesbaden, Germany
Diary dates
30 May - 02 Jun 2024
Rimini Exhibition Center, Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
08-08 Jun 2024
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
11-13 Jun 2024
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Diary dates
12-13 Jun 2024
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
03-05 Sep 2024
IMPACT Exhibition Center, Bangkok, Thailand
Diary dates
19-19 Sep 2024
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Diary dates
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Diary dates
22-25 Oct 2024
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
24-24 Oct 2024
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Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2024
In person, St Andrews, United Kingdom
Diary dates
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