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UPDATE


Pop-up bike store concept ‘creates a community’


In a twist on the popular retail pop-up store concept, independently-owned indoor cycling brand Beatbike has established a pop-up studio in St. Albans. Through word of mouth, it has attracted


200 regular participants within three months. Co-founder Victoria Robertson says the studio gives her and business partner Sian Brice a chance to perfect their business model and build a loyal fan base before establishing a permanent space. The pair started with one class a day, but are now teaching 11 a week.


Low-cost health club operator The Gym Group has been recognised as a top UK employer by Best Companies, the organisation that compiles the annual The Sunday Times ‘Top 100 Companies to Work For’ list. The Gym Group has been


granted three stars under the organisation’s accreditation scheme, which is based on workplace engagement and determined through a company-wide questionnaire and employee survey. Gym Group chief executive John Treharne


UK NEWS Gym Group: A ‘top UK employer’


John Treharne, Gym Group chief executive, says staff are a ‘key asset’ GP referrals are a form of preventative healthcare


Report recommends increases in GP referrals


A new report has recommended that the prescription of leisure activities at council facilities become widespread, as local authorities prepare to take over public health responsibility from the NHS. A Dose of Localism: The Role of Council


in Public Health welcomes the transfer of responsibility, set to happen in April, saying local government services such as planning, licensing, welfare and leisure play a role in preventative public health measures. The report, produced by think tank Local


Government Information Unit and London’s Westminster Council, states that several local authorities already allow GPs to prescribe physical activities at council swimming pools, gyms, yoga studios and walking clubs.


says: “The staff are absolutely our key asset and we work very hard to ensure we provide all the support and development they need to feel happy, content and rewarded in their day-to-day roles.” The Sunday Times’ Top 100 Companies to Work For list will be announced at a London


awards ceremony on 27 February, and will be made public on The Sunday Times website on the first weekend of March. The accolade comes just months after The


Gym Group was recognised as an Investors in People organisation (in October 2012) – a kitemark associated with ‘exceptional commitment’ to staff development.


Women ‘train harder’ with gym buddies


Almost two-thirds of women work out harder when they exercise with a friend, according to new research. A study of 1,000 women found that 64 per


cent of women who run, go to the gym or attend group classes with friends will push themselves harder than if they go alone. Women who have an exercise partner train


for longer, burn more calories and work out more regularly. More than 30 per cent of women say their friend provides the motivation they need to stay in good shape. The study shows that, during the average


exercise session, women who exercise with friends burn up to 236 calories, compared to 195 for those who work out alone.


Women who train with friends burn more calories A spokesman for Virgin Active, which


carried out the research, says: ‘We all have a need to socialise and be with other people – it’s written into our DNA.”


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