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HEALTH TRENDS Ahead of the curve


What are the key consumer trends for health club operators to latch onto in 2014? DAVID MATTIN, LEAD STRATEGIST, TRENDWATCHING.COM


POINT & KNOW


Forget information overload: consumers can’t get enough timely, useful information. They’re taking advantage of smartphone-as- sociated technologies such as QR codes and augmented reality to access real-time information about their surroundings. And with 56 per cent of UK consumers owning a smartphone, exploiting this trend will be a must for many businesses in 2014. The potential applications of ‘point and know’ in the fi tness industry are (almost) endless. Take just one example: San Diego County Parks and Recreation in the US has opened a new ‘QR Code Fit Trail’ system at its 4S Ranch Sports Park. Consumers simply scan a QR code on the Fit Trail and get free videos with guided exercises from a certifi ed fi tness instructor.


GAMEPROVEMENT


Rising numbers of consumers are turning to games to unlock new mindsets and drive new behaviours, as well as overcome obstacles and challenges. Fierce competitiveness will not appeal to all, or even most, consumers – for some, it’s only about playing against themselves to get healthier, happier, more ethical


128 LEISURE HANDBOOK 2014


or more fulfi lled. However, fi tness and the ‘gameprovement’ trend are natural partners. Fitocracy (www.fi tocracy.com) is a good example of this – an online network that turns fi tness into a game. Users can connect with others by joining workout groups with pre-defi ned goals – weight loss, for example – and compete against friends to earn points and reach goals. In addition, the site will set users quests to complete, and award badges for milestones reached. Expect ‘gameprovement’ to spread and evolve throughout 2013.


MAXIMISED MOMENTS


With so many experiences on offer, consumers have never been more saturated by choice when it comes to fi nding ways to spend their time. For many in 2013, the response will be variety, speed and intensity, as single experiences are replaced by multiple, mix-and-matched experiences that provide sensory, information or indulgence overload. Expect to see more brands and businesses applying this trend in the


QR codes link to videos that show members how to use functional zones www.leisurehandbook.com


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