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Let's Move for a Better World, the health club industry to the rescue!

Who needs Marvel superheroes? By joining “Let’s Move for a Better World” social campaign, your club can help save the world from obesity and chronic disease.

As the trade association for the fitness industry, IHRSA has always stated the truth plainly to the world: Life is better for those who exercise.
True as that sentiment is, it may be an understatement. Scientific evidence continues to accumulate, showing the beneficial effects of exercise on nearly every facet of human experience. Cognitive health, mental health, cardiovascular health, prevention of type 2 diabetes—name a health condition and you’ll likely be able to find a study suggesting that exercise improves it.
Now comes dramatic new research appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. The headline about the study on says it all: “Not exercising worse for your health than smoking, diabetes and heart disease, study reveals.” The research, which was performed at the esteemed Cleveland Clinic, also found “no observed upper limit of benefit” when it came to exercise.

Says Weal Jaber, one of the lead authors of the study:

Being unfit on a treadmill or in an exercise stress test has a worse prognosis, as far as death, than being hypertensive, being diabetic or being a current smoker. We've never seen something as pronounced as this and as objective as this.

Of course, every health club operator is aware that exercise is a health imperative for people of all ages. Exercise saves lives. Health clubs provide exercise. Logic dictates that your average, everyday gym is a life saver.
Health club owners arguably have the best product you can offer. So how do we convince the rest of the world to join in and sign up?

The global scenario
Obesity used to be thought of as an American problem, or at least a Western one. But statistics from the World Health Organization (WHO) make it clear that being overweight and unhealthy is a global concern. According to data collected by WHO:

  • worldwide obesity has nearly tripled since 1975;
  • in 2016, more than 1.9 billion adults were overweight, with over 650 million categorized as obese;
  • 39% of adults aged 18 years and over were overweight in 2016, and 13% were obese. And 81% of young people do not get the required amount of exercise they need per week.
Not only does obesity cut years from people’s lives, it’s a significant drag on the global economy. According to new research from the Milkin Institute, in the U.S. alone obese and overweight people cost the country $1.7 trillion (9.3% of the nation’s gross domestic product).

This is where the health club industry comes in. As the WHO report states: “Obesity is preventable.” It’s time to come together and take action.

How the fitness and wellness industry can be key in this scenario

In such scenario the fitness and wellness industry can play a crucial role in the global fight against obesity and NCDs. This represents a great opportunity for industry operators – both on the clubs and technology developers side – to create not only economic value, but also a huge social value.  Club owners, equipment companies, personal trainers, and other suppliers of the global fitness industry in some cases have joined forces to promote the exercise cure to the general public.

One way is through PHIT, an IHRSA-supported bill that will allow Americans to use flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) to pay for health club memberships, fitness equipment, exercise videos, and youth sports leagues.

At a global level, Technogym promotes the “Let’s Move for a Better world” campaign.
The centerpiece of Technogym’s mission against global obesity, the “Let’s Move” campaign invites health clubs from around the world to participate to raise awareness of the dangers of a sedentary lifestyle and engage members in a concrete action to help local charities promoting health and lifestyle education.
Technogym’s mission statement
We are aware that wellness as a lifestyle can contribute to society by improving quality of life, reducing the cost of health care, increasing business productivity, and protecting the environment.

We want to inspire as many people as possible to take up on engaging physical activity, which can actively protect their health.

How does the social cause campaign work?

From 11-30 March 2019, participant club’s members around the world are asked to join forces to donate their exercise and promote the Wellness lifestyle in their local towns or communities through a challenge based on MOVES (Technogym’s unit of measure for movement).
By using connected TECHNOGYM equipment, participants can measure their training efforts and donate their MOVEs on MyWellness Cloud, TECHNOGYM's cloud-based digital platform. Upon reaching predefined movement goals, each club can win a Technogym product to donate to any non-profit association of its choice which operates in fighting obesity and sedentary lifestyles. The more active the gym members are, the more MOVEs they collect and the bigger the donation will be to the communities.

Participating clubs to donate equipment to local charities, schools, or other worthy recipients of their choosing. This allows local clubs to give to others in their area to help fulfill the overall mission of helping the entire community to be more active. Last year, the initiative was able to donate a total of 240 Technogym products to charities. This “pay it forward” aspect of the campaign has become one of the most popular parts of the entire program.
“Let’s Move” has grown exponentially in its five years of existence. In 2018, “Let’s Move” involved a total of 1,033 facilities in 29 countries, enlisting a total of 183,921 participants. In 2019, “Let’s Move” will take place from March 11– 30.

How to join the Let's Move for a Better World campaign?

Let’s Move is a carefully planned, well-promoted event that involves several stages of preparation to ensure a successful outcome. During this preactivation stage, you’ll be plugged into Technogym’s powerful digital ecosystem to recruit participants for this great opportunity to use some of the most advanced training equipment and cloud-based fitness apps in the industry.

Part of the consumer appeal of Let’s Move for a Better World are the rewards and challenges that incentivize training and make it more fun and social to exercise. Using Technogym’s MyWellness app, your club will collect “moves” from “motion monitoring” and other biomarker measurements. The “best mover” on an individual and club basis will earn rewards for the highest score. There are many other options for gamification and competitions that enterprising club owners can create for the event, thanks to Technogym’s advanced cloud-based technology.

Let's Move for a Better World 2018
After the event, Technogym usually invites delegates from each participating facility to attend the Let’s Move for a Better World Conference in Cesena, Italy. This three-day conference provides a place to celebrate the success of the year’s campaign, and to share knowledge and strategies in combatting global obesity in the future.
Technogym’s efforts to galvanize the industry into a more aggressive response to the global obesity epidemic begins with Let's Move for a Better World, but it doesn’t end there.
Together, the fitness industry can continue to unite to continue to do well by doing better.

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