GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Technogym
Technogym
Technogym
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Humphrey Cobbold: reopening gyms would be a step towards building a better Britain

Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be making a "statement of intent" to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic.

This is the view of Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym, who has made a passionate call for the UK government to allow doors to physical activity facilities to be thrown open as soon as possible.

Speaking today (18 February), Cobbold said that gyms are highly regulated and controlled environments – when compared to some other indoor spaces – meaning they are safer for people to visit.

"Even the minutes of SAGE meetings last year indicated that gyms being open would make little measurable difference to the R-rate," he said.

The government is currently finalising its "reopening roadmap", with an announcement concerning the exact details due next week (week beginning 22 February).

"As our leaders meet over the coming days to review the data and discuss the post-pandemic plan we respectfully but firmly request that they place gyms and fitness centres early in the sequence of reopening," Cobbold said.

"Specifically, we ask the Government to heed the wishes of people – millions of normal people across the whole country - who have been denied access to gym and fitness facilities over the last year and grant them that right as soon as safely possible in the reopening period.

"This would be a positive, progressive step and a statement of intent that this Government is committed to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic. And it is a step that can be taken based on data from the periods when gyms were open after the first lockdown which demonstrate that gyms do not represent a material risk to the infection rate.

"In this most recent lockdown, PureGym’s current research of 7,000 gym members suggests that over 85 per cent of members cite gym closures as having a negative effect on physical well-being and 98 per cent indicate that gyms are important to their mental well-being. Worryingly, both of these data points suggest the physical and mental health of people is under more pressure now than after the first “summer” lockdown.

"Many people do not have access to safe outdoor space, particularly in winter and home gyms and Peloton bikes are the preserve of the wealthy. At PureGym, we offer access to good quality facilities for an average price of just £20 per month – gyms are now a democratised product for the many, not a privilege for the few.

"And gyms are unique in that their closure is bad for both livelihoods (over 400,000 people are employed within the gym and fitness industry) and the health and wellbeing of the nation. The continued support for gyms to be reopened in the population at large is underscored by the growing number of people who have signed or are signing petitions to that effect. For example this one (click here to view).

"At PureGym we do not for one moment advocate recklessness and we agree entirely with the Government’s cautious approach to re-opening and its commitment to make this the last lockdown that the country has to endure. This request is not at all about rushing to reopen but is about the sequencing and order in which society is reopened.

"The Government has rightly been praised for its vaccine rollout programme, which has proved a game-changer and the benefits of this outstanding effort must not be squandered. We must all wait patiently for the impact of this effort to be felt – agonising though many of us are finding the delay.

"When it comes to reopening, recent media reports have suggested that outdoor venues will be prioritised, but we encourage the Government to take a considered approach in this regard – not all indoor spaces are equal. Gyms are highly regulated and controlled to a greater degree than other indoor spaces and, we believe, are safer as a result. The protocols for COVID-safe operation of gyms and fitness centres were devised through close consultation with Government experts.

"I personally met with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Van-Tam, and other members of SAGE and PHE to agree these. They cover all aspects including social distancing (100 square feet per person!), ventilation (rapid air extraction and replacement), strictly controlled limits on numbers of people in gyms, and dramatically strengthened cleaning and hygiene requirements.

"These protocols were rigorously applied at PureGym and across the sector and survived the entirely appropriate scrutiny of literally hundreds of Environmental Health Officers who regularly visited our sites across the country when we were open last year.

"The merits of this highly controlled approach were clear to see in the form of very low incidence rates of infection of COVID-19 when we were open last year. These data were collected and published regularly by our industry body – ukative – and were updated most recently this week. And it was clear from the government’s own data for settings of infection that gyms were relatively safe places to work and work out.

"Even the minutes of SAGE meetings last year indicated that gyms being open would make little measurable difference to the R-rate.

"This has been a huge health crisis for our nation and we acknowledge the challenges it continues to present to everyone and not least of all those in government faced with making painfully difficult decisions and trade-offs.

"However, we call on the government in its current deliberations to prioritise the opening of gyms and fitness centres, because they so clearly provide a net benefit to the health and wellbeing of millions of people and reduce the burden on the NHS.

"Activity and exercise is quite literally a wonder drug in many ways and in 21st Century Britain, gyms are how many millions choose to “get their fix”.

"We at PureGym stand ready in our 275 sites nationwide – as do hundreds of thousands of colleagues across the industry – to throw open our doors as soon as the government allows us to do so."

Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be making a "statement of intent" to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PUB
2021/THUMB347191_547786_246136.jpg
Latest News
Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched ...
Latest News
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new ...
Latest News
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its ...
Latest News
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability ...
Latest News
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq ...
Latest News
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We ...
Latest News
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday ...
Latest News
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board ...
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Tech
Each health club has its own unique challenges, but the right tech solution can make all the difference. In the first of a two-part series, specialists share how they’ve solved specific issues
HCM Magazine
Everyone's talking about
In the wake of the pandemic, is the time ripe to change the language around the role of exercise professionals, and gain greater trust from the healthcare sector?
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Q&A
Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
As HCM passed its 300th edition milestone, readers shared their thoughts and feelings on HCM’s contribution to the industry in a very special postbag
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
HCM magazine
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: ACTIV partners with Fisikal to deliver custom branded member experience
ACTIV, a gym chain in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which operates separate gyms for men and women, has partnered with digital management solution expert Fisikal to create a custom branded experience for its members.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: YOUR Personal Training
YOUR Personal Training is the UK’s largest and most successful PT Management company, offering a ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
Precor has been a pioneer in delivering fitness experiences for commercial customers for more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates

News

Humphrey Cobbold: reopening gyms would be a step towards building a better Britain

Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be making a "statement of intent" to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic.

This is the view of Humphrey Cobbold, CEO of PureGym, who has made a passionate call for the UK government to allow doors to physical activity facilities to be thrown open as soon as possible.

Speaking today (18 February), Cobbold said that gyms are highly regulated and controlled environments – when compared to some other indoor spaces – meaning they are safer for people to visit.

"Even the minutes of SAGE meetings last year indicated that gyms being open would make little measurable difference to the R-rate," he said.

The government is currently finalising its "reopening roadmap", with an announcement concerning the exact details due next week (week beginning 22 February).

"As our leaders meet over the coming days to review the data and discuss the post-pandemic plan we respectfully but firmly request that they place gyms and fitness centres early in the sequence of reopening," Cobbold said.

"Specifically, we ask the Government to heed the wishes of people – millions of normal people across the whole country - who have been denied access to gym and fitness facilities over the last year and grant them that right as soon as safely possible in the reopening period.

"This would be a positive, progressive step and a statement of intent that this Government is committed to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic. And it is a step that can be taken based on data from the periods when gyms were open after the first lockdown which demonstrate that gyms do not represent a material risk to the infection rate.

"In this most recent lockdown, PureGym’s current research of 7,000 gym members suggests that over 85 per cent of members cite gym closures as having a negative effect on physical well-being and 98 per cent indicate that gyms are important to their mental well-being. Worryingly, both of these data points suggest the physical and mental health of people is under more pressure now than after the first “summer” lockdown.

"Many people do not have access to safe outdoor space, particularly in winter and home gyms and Peloton bikes are the preserve of the wealthy. At PureGym, we offer access to good quality facilities for an average price of just £20 per month – gyms are now a democratised product for the many, not a privilege for the few.

"And gyms are unique in that their closure is bad for both livelihoods (over 400,000 people are employed within the gym and fitness industry) and the health and wellbeing of the nation. The continued support for gyms to be reopened in the population at large is underscored by the growing number of people who have signed or are signing petitions to that effect. For example this one (click here to view).

"At PureGym we do not for one moment advocate recklessness and we agree entirely with the Government’s cautious approach to re-opening and its commitment to make this the last lockdown that the country has to endure. This request is not at all about rushing to reopen but is about the sequencing and order in which society is reopened.

"The Government has rightly been praised for its vaccine rollout programme, which has proved a game-changer and the benefits of this outstanding effort must not be squandered. We must all wait patiently for the impact of this effort to be felt – agonising though many of us are finding the delay.

"When it comes to reopening, recent media reports have suggested that outdoor venues will be prioritised, but we encourage the Government to take a considered approach in this regard – not all indoor spaces are equal. Gyms are highly regulated and controlled to a greater degree than other indoor spaces and, we believe, are safer as a result. The protocols for COVID-safe operation of gyms and fitness centres were devised through close consultation with Government experts.

"I personally met with the Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Professor Van-Tam, and other members of SAGE and PHE to agree these. They cover all aspects including social distancing (100 square feet per person!), ventilation (rapid air extraction and replacement), strictly controlled limits on numbers of people in gyms, and dramatically strengthened cleaning and hygiene requirements.

"These protocols were rigorously applied at PureGym and across the sector and survived the entirely appropriate scrutiny of literally hundreds of Environmental Health Officers who regularly visited our sites across the country when we were open last year.

"The merits of this highly controlled approach were clear to see in the form of very low incidence rates of infection of COVID-19 when we were open last year. These data were collected and published regularly by our industry body – ukative – and were updated most recently this week. And it was clear from the government’s own data for settings of infection that gyms were relatively safe places to work and work out.

"Even the minutes of SAGE meetings last year indicated that gyms being open would make little measurable difference to the R-rate.

"This has been a huge health crisis for our nation and we acknowledge the challenges it continues to present to everyone and not least of all those in government faced with making painfully difficult decisions and trade-offs.

"However, we call on the government in its current deliberations to prioritise the opening of gyms and fitness centres, because they so clearly provide a net benefit to the health and wellbeing of millions of people and reduce the burden on the NHS.

"Activity and exercise is quite literally a wonder drug in many ways and in 21st Century Britain, gyms are how many millions choose to “get their fix”.

"We at PureGym stand ready in our 275 sites nationwide – as do hundreds of thousands of colleagues across the industry – to throw open our doors as soon as the government allows us to do so."

Placing gyms and leisure centres at the front of the queue for reopening would be making a "statement of intent" to building a healthier and better Britain after the pandemic.
PTS,SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PHR,PUB
2021/THUMB347191_547786_246136.jpg

News

Ness, a US startup that is developing a range of wellness-driven credit cards, has launched
Following a history of supporting US military and service members, F45 has announced a new
Hyatt is piloting private gyms in five of its US hotels as part of its
A young girl has died following an incident at the David Lloyd gym at Capability
New fitness franchise, Circuit Society, has signed its first London location in Bayswater. The 3,000sq
Active Nottingham, part of Nottingham City Council, has released a children’s book called Can We
Fitness On Demand
Fitness On Demand
According to our poll, the first thing 80 per cent of operators and gym owners
The new £42m Moorways Sports Village will open its doors to the public on Saturday
Fitness industry veteran Harm Tegelaars has returned to the fitness industry by joining the board
Planet Fitness saw its Q1 2022 revenue increase by 66.9 per cent (to US$186.7m) on
Sport England and UK Active have signed a five-year partnership agreement which will see the
Planet Fitness is offering high-school students free access to any of its 2,200 locations in
How can organisations, including health club and leisure businesses, decarbonise, generate clean energy and harness
Elevate
Elevate
Health clubs across the UK are facing huge rises in business energy bills which are
Being physically active can counter the damage of diabetes by enabling the activation of a
Altis, an artificial intelligence-based personal trainer solution, has secured more than US$3m worth of financing,
Members of the United States Congress and Washington DC staff are competing against each other
1Rebel has acquired two Core Collective clubs as part of a pre-pack administration deal, along
Basic-Fit opened a record number of 72 clubs in the first quarter of 2022. Fifty-five
Deborah Szekely, philanthropist, social activist, teacher and entrepreneur, has been inducted into the Wellness Hall
Les Mills
Les Mills
More than 100 industry delegates met in person at the annual active-net event at Eastwood
Multi-brand fitness chain Urban Gym Group (UGG) has raised €16m in capital. The funds will
Those looking to have a dip in Berlin's famous heated outdoor pools this summer will
ukactive
ukactive
1 - 20 of 12,208
HCM Magazine
Supplier showcase
Pulse Fitness and Bolsover District Council have been collaborating for many years to deliver dedicated community activity spaces
HCM Magazine
Tech
Each health club has its own unique challenges, but the right tech solution can make all the difference. In the first of a two-part series, specialists share how they’ve solved specific issues
HCM Magazine
Everyone's talking about
In the wake of the pandemic, is the time ripe to change the language around the role of exercise professionals, and gain greater trust from the healthcare sector?
HCM Magazine
Write to reply
Fuel the debate about issues and opportunities across the industry. We’d love to hear from you – [email protected]
HCM Magazine
Q&A
Social media influencers cause harm by raising unrealistic expectations of physical perfection, as Andrea Dearden explains
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We’ve set ourselves the initial goal of developing 100 Feel Electric sites, using a cluster model
HCM Magazine
Research
Bryce Hastings, head of research at Les Mills, explains the latest research into exercise motivation, giving tips on how to engage hard-to-reach members
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
As HCM passed its 300th edition milestone, readers shared their thoughts and feelings on HCM’s contribution to the industry in a very special postbag
HCM magazine
The Global Wellness Summit brought together public health and wellness experts in Boston recently. Jane Kitchen was there for HCM to see first-hand what this ‘New new era in health and wellness’ will look like for the sector
HCM magazine
In April, Deloitte and Europe Active published the ninth edition of their yearly European Health and Fitness Market Report, as Karsten Hollasch explains
HCM magazine
HCM People

Louis Rennocks

Co-founder, Grndhouse
We want Grndhouse to be everywhere: in gyms, hotels, on holidays, at home – it’s boutique fitness in your hand
HCM magazine
Having a portfolio of more than 1,000 health club locations is the aim of ambitious operators, with this elite category growing fast, creating new dynamics in the market
HCM magazine
Being physically active can heal damage caused by diabetes, enabling the activation of a natural system that grows new blood vessels, according to research in the US
HCM magazine
When you have a budget gym round the corner charging £15 a month and you’re charging £60, you need to sparkle
HCM magazine
What to do when your changing rooms need a refresh, but your budget is stretched? These specialists share their top tips for easy upgrades that won’t break the bank
HCM magazine
The pandemic brought about our sector’s biggest ever collaboration on COVID safety data. Lizzie Broughton tells the story
HCM magazine
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: ACTIV partners with Fisikal to deliver custom branded member experience
ACTIV, a gym chain in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, which operates separate gyms for men and women, has partnered with digital management solution expert Fisikal to create a custom branded experience for its members.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Magicline celebrates UK market entry at Elevate
With a focus on globalisation, Magicline has officially launched its software in the UK. As Europe’s leading gym management software company, the company strives to provide the best tools for gym owners to be successful, win new members and elevate their businesses.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: New partnership delivers swimming support to children with disabilities
A new partnership has been launched to provide inclusive swimming for children with mobility, visual and hearing disabilities.
Featured operator news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active to launch new exercise classes to reduce gender gap
As part of their work to break down the barriers that deter women and girls from participating in sport and physical activity, Everyone Active has teamed up with EMD UK to launch new exercise classes linked to the This Girl Can campaign.
Video Gallery
Total Vibration Solutions / Floors 4 Gyms / TVS Sports Surfaces
Sport Alliance GmbH
Mindbody, Inc
Company profiles
Company profile: YOUR Personal Training
YOUR Personal Training is the UK’s largest and most successful PT Management company, offering a ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Precor
Precor has been a pioneer in delivering fitness experiences for commercial customers for more than ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Fitness equipment
A Panatta Sport Srl: Fitness equipment
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
On demand
Fitness On Demand: On demand
trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: trade associations
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Lockers/interior design
Crown Sports Lockers: Lockers/interior design
Whole body cryotherapy
Zimmer MedizinSysteme GmbH / icelab: Whole body cryotherapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Runcorn
Halton Borough Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
15-16 Jun 2022
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
30-30 Jun 2022
The ICC, Birmingham, Birmingham , United Kingdom
Diary dates
12-13 Sep 2022
Wyndham Lake Buena Vista Disney Springs® Resort, Lake Buena Vista, United States
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
25-28 Oct 2022
Ibiza, Ibiza, Spain
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
17-18 Mar 2023
Tobacco Dock, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Technogym
Technogym
Partner sites