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JULY 2015 LETTERS Write to reply


Do you have a strong opinion or disagree with somebody else’s views on the industry? If so, we’d love to hear from you – email: healthclub@leisuremedia.com


Leisure technology needs to play catch-up Leisure-related technology isn’t moving fast enough to keep up with member expectations – we’re consistently trailing behind other industries in terms of innovation and customer experience. Take an Apple Store for example: you can pick your product, scan and pay for it with your phone and walk out the door. In many leisure centres, we still


expect customers to queue at reception to access our facilities, and the emphasis is still on booking via a computer. Mobile booking has only recently been adopted and apps can be clunky compared to those for far more complex booking processes, such as British Airways’ app. Meanwhile wearables are taking


Using technology to fuel lifestyle change will still require an emotional connection


Provide members with inspiration, not information


Your recent ‘Tracking Retention’ article (HCM May 15, p40) raised valid points regarding the impact of physical activity tracking on exercise motivation levels, and why operators should be cautious. Technology is changing the health and


fitness world, but at Fitness First we believe tracking activity in isolation won’t motivate people to stay active. Indeed, many people stop using wearables and apps soon after purchase. People’s daily lives are repetitive, which reduces the occurrence of new insights; as the insight decays, so does the enthusiasm for tracking. We’ve worked extensively with a


behavioural psychologist and we know the key to intrinsic motivation lies in a combination of autonomy, feeling competent and accountable, and receiving social recognition. Devices on


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their own therefore aren’t enough: people also need support and an emotional connection to turn the data into positive lifestyle changes. Although wearables and apps will significantly improve over time, there will always be a place for emotional connections between members and fitness professionals. So we don’t believe it’s time to be


cautious about tracking, which we feel should be seen as a positive – a small part of the bigger-picture opportunities and growth that digital health will bring our industry over the coming years. We should welcome digital health


with open arms, shaping our products and services today, ready to support the digital health users of tomorrow.


David Langridge Group marketing director, Fitness First


Read Health Club Management online at healthclubmanagement.co.uk/digital


Mobile booking for fitness is still comparatively unsophisticated


July 2015 © Cybertrek 2015


off, leading to even more freely available data on exercise behaviours. We need to embrace this to support retention. Why aren’t we using data interpretation to steer a member’s personalised training plan, sitting down with them to review their data and providing them with insights to keep them engaged? The industry is in danger of falling further behind if we don’t consider new technologies that truly support our customers both in and out of the gym.


Ross McCaw Founder, Our Leisure People


PICTURE: WWW.ISTOCK.COM/BOJAN TEZAK


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