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Many fitness centres are designed by 'fitness buffs' for the very fit, i.e. committed exercisers. However, such centres only appeal to approximately 8-10% of the general population.

Within the UK, currently 59% do not exercise regularly, 50% are overweight and approximately 20% are clinically obese. If we are to attract these people to start to exercise and to follow a healthier lifestyle then we need to design a different type of centre.

It is very important to understand the mindset of this group. Research studies show that such people do not go to existing fitness centres because:

'only fit people go there'

'it looks too intimidating'

'it's all too overwhelming'

Studies also suggest that:

68% lack self-discipline and confidence

37% would join if the intimidation factors were less

42% want special attention from staff

46% want a special 'just for me' programme

Therefore we need to design a slightly different type of fitness centre where not only do committed exercisers enjoy using the facility but, more importantly, where ordinary people feel welcome and comfortable. The first essential step is to design your centre as seen through the eyes of the unfit and overweight.

We need a centre where such people do not feel intimidated, are made to feel welcome immediately and where Health/Fitness staff can gently guide and encourage them towards their own specific health and fitness targets. This amounts to the creation of 'The Wellness Centre'.

Moving from fitness to 'Wellness'


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© Wellness Managment Ltd. 2002