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fi a update from the board

news the cmo – one year on

When the FIA invited me be to become its chief medical offi cer (CMO), it was with a view to helping the industry engage with the health agenda. My part in this strategy is to work to establish exercise as a normal part of healthcare, both in the prevention and the treatment of the diseases of our affl uent society. This has meant working not only

with the Department of Health, but also with doctors and other healthcare professionals, helping them to understand our industry and to work with instructors

getting engaged

david stalker • executive director • fi a

‘TwentyTen Commission’ – this phrase will echo across the industry over the next few months. It is a radical new concept, not just for our sector, but for every other sector in this country. It’s a fi ve-year strategy plan

designed to help us plot our journey to take us from where we are, which is an industry with around 12 per cent market share which meets the ‘fi tness’ needs of this country, to where we want to be: a sector which serves twice as many people; which helps the government, NHS and employers to improve the health of the nation; which improves the economic health of the country by reducing absenteeism and increasing productivity; and which helps adults and children lead healthier, happier, longer lives. The fi ve cornerstones of

TwentyTen are covered on p10 of this magazine, but I have a big ask of you. The draft commission is now open for industry consultation. That means we want to know what you think about the priorities identifi ed by more than 60 industry leaders, and the strategies they recommend. You might agree with some of

it or you might agree with none of it. Either way, tell us; this is your fi ve-year wish list. Please call us for your copy of the

commission, or visit Not engaging is not an option.


and personal trainers. We now have a forum in which representatives from our sector and the Medical Royal Colleges can work together. Drawing up new guidelines on

best practice in exercise referral is a key piece of work that’s being done by the FIA, SkillsActive, REPs and representatives of the training institutions, in conjunction with doctors. We’re also working with the Chartered Society of Physiotherapy to establish ways we can work together better, and to have clear guidelines about referral to physiotherapists and fi tness instructors. Equally exciting and stimulating has

John Searle has been busy during his fi rst year as CMO of the FIA

been working with the fi tness industry itself, to explore what we need to do to make our facilities not just places where people ‘look good and feel great’, but where they also get sustainable health benefi ts whatever their age, be they children or octogenarians. There is still a huge amount to be done both fronts, but we have made a start. In one sense, whatever the question about health, in large part the answer is ‘exercise’! There is nothing new about this: 2,400 years ago the Greek philosopher Plato wrote: “Lack of activity destroys the good condition of every human being, while movement and methodical physical exercise save it and preserve it.”

brussels sprouts new plan

The FIA, in partnership with the European Health and Fitness Association (EHFA), has won a European Commission grant to put the fi tness sector on the European health and wellbeing map. The commission has appointed the

FIA and EHFA to research the health and fi tness sector’s ability to address the rising tide of obesity and relieve the pressure on healthcare budgets across the EU. The project is entitled ‘Becoming the hub: the health and fi tness sector and the future of health enhancing physical activity’. Work has already started, with

an analysis of EU government policy and campaigns across European national governments. Working with FIA equivalents

in France (the European Observatoire Read Health Club Management online at

for Sport Employment) and Germany (Verband Deutscher Fitness und Gesundheitsunternhmen), the team will consult with operators and suppliers from Sweden to Swindon and will produce a report at the end of the year. “Any ambitious sector must

look to the European markets for growth,” comments David Stalker, FIA executive director. “We’ve gone from being ambassadors for the role of the health and fi tness sector in an integrated public health strategy, to being a champion for all our European colleagues in just a matter of months. That’s a wonderful testimony.” Anyone interested in reading more

about the project, or in participating in the consultation, can visit

july 2010 © cybertrek 2010

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