New Zealand’s fitness promotion needs to move beyond slogans
Exercise Association of New Zealand (ExerciseNZ) Chief Executive Richard Beddie fears that New Zealanders have a major problem committing to active participation.
Beddie looks back to Government messages of the early 2000s with slogans such as ‘walk to the bus stop’ as not having been the answer to the looming inactivity, diabetes and obesity issues.
Beddie explains “to be blunt, the old school food pyramid failed Kiwis in the same way that the old school belief that gold medals and long-term participation levels are related.
“For too long we have been sending the wrong messages, but despite all that more than half a million Kiwis make the effort to be active through structured exercise such as gyms or studios.
“Participation in organised sport is declining whereas participation in structured exercise has been consistently growing for the last 15 years. Even during the last financial recession, gym memberships grew and have constantly out performed New Zealand’s GDP growth, in good times and bad.
“What’s clear is that Kiwis want choice and they want flexibility, which is something that that exercise offers. If people like doing things by themselves, they can. If they want to do it in a group they can, such as early morning starts or late-night workouts - both are on offer.
“Because the exercise industry is run almost entirely by the free market, providers of exercise have to adapt and give the consumer what they want to stay in business. As a result, we now have much greater variety in price, product offering, location and service levels than ever before.”
Beddie says he agrees that a well-balanced diet, regular exercise and activity lead to increased energy, decrease in the risks of lifestyle disease, better sleep and a stronger body.
With this approach now universally accepted, Beddie recalls that even 10 years ago the role of exercise was still being questioned.
However, today he sees that information isn’t the issue anymore, it’s helping people to change behaviour.
Beddie adds “we urge less active New Zealanders to change their sedentary lifestyle. It’s about supporting them in their journey, which is much more than just bombarding them with more information, or a new quick fix.
“Waikato University PhD candidate Wendy Sweet says the best personal trainers coached rather than directed their clients. This empowers people to continue to make the right choices, while being guided by an expert.”
New Zealand-based personal training pioneer Sweet undertook researched work of the top trainers in New Zealand, exploring the intervention strategies that they implemented to be most effective in changing their client’s health behaviour, helping them get the results they wanted and to continue exercising to keep healthy in the longer term.
A Stanford University report recently found Kiwis on average walk only four kilometres a day and Beddie says while that is better than nothing it should not be celebrated. Last year, New Zealanders were found to be the chubbiest of 11 nations surveyed by Cigna 360 degrees Wellbeing Score research.
The ExerciseNZ industry Awards will be held on 25th November to pay tribute to the industry professionals helping to get New Zealanders fitter.
Click here for information on entering the Awards.
Images: NZ Fitness & Health Expo (top) and Wendy Sweet (below).
20th July 2017 - COUNTDOWN TO 2017 NZ FITNESS & HEALTH EXPO
11th July 2017 - GENETICS A GAME CHANGER IN GETTING NEW ZEALANDERS FITTER
27th June 2017 - ENTRIES OPEN FOR 2017 NEW ZEALAND EXERCISE INDUSTRY AWARDS
21st June 2017 - YOGA A KEY PART OF NEW ZEALAND’S GROWING EXERCISE PARTICIPATION
23rd March 2017 - NEW ZEALAND CHILDREN BENEFIT FROM PLAY.SPORT INITIATIVE
28th November 2016 - EXERCISE INDUSTRY AWARDS RECOGNISE NEW ZEALAND’S MOST ENERGETIC PROFESSIONALS
10th October 2016 - HEALTHY FAMILIES NZ HAVING A POSITIVE IMPACT
19th August 2016 - EXERCISENZ ISSUES HEALTH AND SAFETY GUIDE FOR FITNESS OPERATORS
27th July 2016 - INDUSTRY LEADING SPEAKERS TO ADDRESS 2016 FITEX CONVENTION
16th June 2016 - NZ FITNESS EXPO A PLACE FOR INDUSTRY AND TRADE IN 2016
26th April 2016 - RULES FOR MANAGING PERSONAL TRAINERS FOR PROFIT AND PERFORMANCE
29th January 2016 - CHILDHOOD OBESITY RATES TO SOAR WITHOUT URGENT GOVERNMENT INTERVENTION
19th April 2013 - ARE WE CREATING THE RIGHT ENVIRONMENTS FOR YOUTH FITNESS?
Asking a small favour
We hope that you value the news that we publish so while you're here can we ask for your support?
The news we publish at www.ausleisure.com.au is independent, credible (we hope) and free for you to access, with no pay walls and no annoying pop-up ads.
However, as an independent publisher, can we ask for you to support us by subscribing to the printed Australasian Leisure Management magazine - if you don't already do so.
Published bi-monthly since 1997, the printed Australasian Leisure Management differs from this website in that it publishes longer, in-depth and analytical features covering aquatics, attractions, entertainment, events, fitness, parks, recreation, sport, tourism and venues management.
Subscriptions cost just $90 a year.
Click here to subscribe.
The Complete Guide to Leisure Industry Products & Services.
Digonex is a leading provider of customised dynamic pricing solutions to clients in arts and entertainment, sport, attractions, cultural institutions and retail sectors. Digonex’s technology is…read more
Playrope Aqua-Fun, are the Australian & New Zealand exclusive distributors for Vortex Aquatic Structures International, the world leader in aquatic playgrounds and urban water landscapes.…read more
Swimplex Aquatics are a world-class company dedicated to the commercial pool, waterslide industry. We are Australian market leaders servicing all states Australia wide. Swimplex provide a full…read more
PROVEN BUSINESS CONCEPTS WITH XBODY XBody’s goal is to see you and your EMS business succeed. That is why we don’t just sell equipment, we provide know-how, expert knowledge,…read more
With its sleek good looks and easy-to-use yet powerful functionality, Envibe is the premium fitness club software for the Australasian leisure, recreation and fitness industry. We are the most…read more
get listed with our suppliers directory
Get your business noticed in our targeted directory. Viewed by 10,000 industry professionals per week!