29 May 2024 World leisure: news, training & property
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Health Club Management
2024 issue 1

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Leisure Management - Getting more ambitious

Editor's letter

Getting more ambitious

Consumers tell us they want support in leading longer, healthier lives and we’re the only industry sector with the capability of delivering on this, so we must ensure strategy is aligned with demand

Consumers are clear that good health is a priority Shutterstock.com/ALESSANDROBIASCIOLI

Awhole raft of new research indicates we can afford to be increasingly ambitious for our sector, as it becomes ever more critical to consumers.

Insight from the Vitality Research Institute has found that on average, 16 per cent of a woman’s life and 13 per cent of a man’s life can now be expected to be spent in poor health.

Life expectancy has grown in the developed world, but healthspan – the years spent in good health – is not keeping pace, creating distress for people and their families and exerting a drag on economies and societies.

Demand is growing from consumers for solutions to this as people wake up to this challenge and we’re increasingly pushing on an open door in promoting healthy lifestyle interventions.

US health club operators Life Time produces an annual consumer insight study, with this year’s edition highlighting the value people place on health clubs in helping them maintain their wellbeing.

The study – US consumer health and wellness survey – found the majority (51 per cent) saying that ‘living longer healthier lives’ is a bigger motivation than ‘looking better’ (9 per cent) when it comes to being a member of a health club.

With health data and consumer aspirations aligning so powerfully, the health and fitness sector is optimally positioned to deliver the support people need to build physical activity, wellness and recovery into their lives in a manageable and sustainable way.

We must ensure industry strategy is sufficiently ambitious when it comes to our reach, so we’re skilling-up teams to deliver the services people are demanding.

This includes collaborating seamlessly with the health sector, positioning ourselves as one of the key industries of the future and ensuring we are experts in consumer insight.

We have to recognise that we’re effectively the only sector in society offering this support. Where else can people get sound advice about how to live more healthily? Where else do they have the opportunity to exercise in a way that fits in with a busy life? Where else can they get access to specialist equipment and programmes? What we do is special and unique.

Recognising this, ensuring we deliver support to people in all parts of society in a way they can afford and that makes them feel welcome is vital.

If we can do this, we will play our part in closing the healthspan gap and empowering people to live the longer, healthier lives they dream about.

Liz Terry, editor

Originally published in Health Club Management 2024 issue 1

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