This page contains a Flash digital edition of a book.

Kath Hudson • Journalist • Health Club Management EVERYONE’S TALKING ABOUT . . .

Addressing inactivity T

ukactive has thrown down the gauntlet with its Turning the Tide report, calling for a 1 per cent increase in levels of activity each year for five years. Is this achievable, and what are the next steps?

he situation is looking rather desperate: an estimated 25 per cent of the UK population are currently classed as inactive –

with projections showing that inactivity levels are likely to increase by a further 15 per cent by 2030 – while physical inactivity is already cited by WHO as the fourth leading cause of global mortality. In its new report, Turning the Tide of

Inactivity, ukactive has also identified that inactive people spend 38 per cent more days in hospital than active people and visit the doctor 6 per cent more often. This is costing the UK economy £8.2bn a year (see HCM March 14, p28). In response, ukactive has called on the government to place physical inactivity

as a standalone public health risk, separate from obesity and weight management. It wants public health teams to prioritise and resource physical inactivity programmes to the same level as other top tier public health risks such as smoking and alcohol abuse. ukactive has set the target of increasing

levels of physical activity by 1 per cent a year for five years; as well as improving public health and reducing mortality, this could save the NHS £1.2bn. It’s an excellent idea, but how can it

be done? And how can individual health club operators play their part? A separate piece of research by

Bristol University found poor education, low household income and local area

deprivation to be barriers to activity. So too are the availability of facilities and the weather: although in some cases a smaller number of high quality, well- designed facilities have been effective in driving down inactivity levels, ukactive found that in general, areas with the highest levels of inactivity have one- third fewer leisure facilities than areas with lower levels of inactivity. The industry will have to find a way of

connecting with inactive people, creating a new breed of activity that appeals to this audience. And with inactivity highest among the lower socioeconomic groups, where price is a barrier, these activities need to be cheap – or free. So what are the next steps? We ask the experts...



physical inactivity as a top tier public health risk, outlining actions that can be taken to combat this severe risk. At a recent cross-party group of parliamentarians, they agreed progress and action needs to be taken; ukactive will be supporting them to do this. Arrangements of a partnership with Public Health England


are being finalised. This will take a localised approach, putting in place a regular, free, regional event programme, pulling together interested parties on a regular basis to share their expertise, experience and plans through established regional networks. These will be run nationwide and designed to support local authorities, public health professionals and the physical activity sector to better understand and engage with inactive people, through the sharing of best practice. Gyms have a vital role to play in promoting the industrial

scale shift that’s needed to get people moving and make children physically literate. They need to look at how they are perceived by stakeholders and local communities and ensure their programmes and businesses demonstrate a genuine motivation to make a difference to their customers’ health.

t a national level, we’re engaging with parliamentarians to embed

DR PAUL BEDFORD Director • Retention Guru


his will be a massive challenge, because changing mass behaviour

of people who are not interested in changing is not easy. But someone needed to step up to try and tackle this, so I think the industry should be positive about it. It does put pressure on clubs, and clear direction will be

needed from ukactive, as the majority of operators I have spoken to have no idea how to implement it. For this to work, operators will need to broaden their remit,

offering a wide range of activities in non-traditional fitness environments, such as walking in parks. Since they probably won’t have the resources to do this, funding will be necessary. Building a relationship with inactive people will be one of

the starting points. In order to do this, the sector will have to collaborate with organisations that already have direct access to inactive people – for example, youth groups, charities for older people and housing associations. It’s quicker and easier to work with those who already have a relationship with the target audience than trying to create a brand new relationship. This was the approach used by the YMCA’s Activate England campaign a few years ago. Using £3.5m from the Big Lottery Fund, this project got 8,500 people active in six weeks.

” 32 Read Health Club Management online at May 2014 © Cybertrek 2014

Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68  |  Page 69  |  Page 70  |  Page 71  |  Page 72  |  Page 73  |  Page 74  |  Page 75  |  Page 76  |  Page 77  |  Page 78  |  Page 79  |  Page 80  |  Page 81  |  Page 82  |  Page 83  |  Page 84  |  Page 85  |  Page 86  |  Page 87  |  Page 88  |  Page 89  |  Page 90  |  Page 91  |  Page 92