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fi a update
from the board
new hcs helps bridge
healthcare and exercise gap
More than 15 years ago, the industry on current fact, not just historic data.
adopted the PAR-Q (Pre-activity Starting from just £60 per site – for Code
Readiness Questionnaire) which was of Practice-compliant leisure facilities –
developed to help operators assess if it we believe that HCS will help underpin
was safe for a person to embark on a the Department of Health’s physical
new exercise or fitness programme. activity engagement strategy, save PCTs
To be consistent with current and GPs millions in prescription charges,
government policies, the new Health remove a frequent barrier to exercise
Commitment Statement (HCS) pre- for consumers and help get more people
activity questionnaire, developed by the more active more often. This long
FIA in association with medico-legal risk overdue initiative could well prove one
looking ahead management specialist EIDO, has been of the major milestones in our evolution
produced in consultation with fitness from health and fi tness operators to
fred turok • fi a chair
industry operators, medico-legal public health delivery partner.”
professionals and health providers to Commenting for EIDO Healthcare,
Twenty years ago our industry support the evolving requirements of Owain Tudor, director of product
prospered on the coat tails of a Jane consumers and operators. development, says: “Our remit was
Fonda-inspired ‘fi tness revolution’. “The health and wellbeing world has to update the health and fi tness
Today, our work with the changed enormously since PAR-Qs industry on Department of Health
government allows us to position were fi rst developed in Canada over 15 guidelines, legislation and case law,
ourselves as a government delivery years ago,” said David Stalker, the FIA’s while promoting a joint commitment
partner. This, however, is just the COO, at the launch of the new HCS. from the industry and its customers to
beginning of a much bigger journey. “Any pre-activity questionnaire should improving health through exercise. The
There are two key issues we be a tool to help assess the needs of 24-month development process included
have to address. Firstly, what do potential exercisers, as well as helping consultation with industry operators
we need to do as an industry to be to decide on the optimum combination and health and safety experts prior to
more relevant to more consumers of activities designed to achieve specifi c approval by the FIA’s Technical Health
more often? And secondly, how goals. Regrettably PAR-Qs had become a and Safety Group and the Code of
can we be more valuable to the barrier to exercise, with over 5 per cent Practice Working Group.”
healthcare sector to ensure that we of potential new exercisers being turned The HCS, which has been designed
are embedded in, and a vital part of, away for often inappropriate reasons – specifi cally for the UK gym environment,
their delivery strategy? for example, a former asthma sufferer is available from the FIA standards team.
These are the questions that would not be able to enroll as a member It can be downloaded and adapted by
have now given the rise to the new despite the fact that he/she had not operators to meet their individual needs.
TwentyTen Commission. suffered from the condition for years.” For more information about the HCS,
The Commission is the start of a Stalker continued: “Our aim was contact Pete Wells at pete@fi
process designed to be a catalyst for to develop a protocol which relied or on +44 (0)20 7420 8571.
the industry to develop a fi ve-year
plan to allow us to crash through
our 12 per cent market penetration
glass ceiling and attract Department
of Health funds for the delivery of
‘exercise medicine’.
The process has started. More
than 30 industry leaders will defi ne
the issues on which we need to focus
– for example, does the industry
have the right ‘products’ and skillsets
to achieve our objectives? The next
stage will be an open consultation
with the industry at large, before the
various strands are brought together
into one integrated strategic plan.
This is an exciting plan and the FIA
board hopes you will support it.
The HCS pre-activity questionnaire would not exclude former asthma sufferers
16 Read Health Club Management online november/december 2009 © cybertrek 2009
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