A sample text widget

Etiam pulvinar consectetur dolor sed malesuada. Ut convallis euismod dolor nec pretium. Nunc ut tristique massa.

Nam sodales mi vitae dolor ullamcorper et vulputate enim accumsan. Morbi orci magna, tincidunt vitae molestie nec, molestie at mi. Nulla nulla lorem, suscipit in posuere in, interdum non magna.

Managing Amidst a Changing Present, Part 1

Consider how the face and heart of fitness have changed in the past 25 years. Since we’ve come to rely on escalators and elevators, stair climbing has become one of the most popular cardiovascular activities. Although we’ll drive around the mall searching for a nearby parking space, we’re also “power-walking” inside the mall during the early morning. Former rehabilitation methods such as stepping, sliding and aqua aerobics classes have become the rage in group exercise.

And just as audio/video circuits and closed captioning are hooked into our television monitors, all the latest fitness equipment is featuring virtual reality, enabling the exercisers to escape their surroundings to somewhere more enticing.

The list is endless. As reported last month in this column, change may be the only constant in the fitness industry. In hopes of luring and motivating exercisers, manufacturers continue to bombard the industry with different equipment featuring the latest technology. Researchers modify their recommendations as new studies amplify our understanding of exercise physiology. And as society and demographics change, we face new challenges in terms of member expectations, staffing and management requirements.

In the book Management, Patrick Montana and Bruce Charnov discuss six future trends for the changing nature of work and the workforce across all industries–including fitness. Being aware of, and prepared for, each trend that can enhance your management and keep your facility stable amidst the turbulent winds of change.

1) The rise of tile information economy. As mentioned in Megatrends and Megatrends 2000, United States business has been shifting from a traditional industrial base to an information-based service economy. “Smokestack America,” the old manufacturing core of this country (steel, coal and automobiles), required physical laborers. These laborers have been replaced by information purveyors such as computer programmers, stock brokers, researchers, lawyers and financial consultants. In 1950, only 17 percent of the work force had informational jobs. By 1983, this number had exploded to 65 percent.

With the rise of information management comes the decline of physical condition, and a concomitant increasing need for exercise. The decreasing physical demands on the worker and the prevalence of sedentary lifestyles also has increased hypokinetic diseases. Hypokinetic diseases, those related to a lack of physical activity, include cardiovascular disease, obesity and low-back problems. Ultimately, this could mean larger memberships for fitness facilities and additional programs involving stress reduction, weight management and relaxation.

2) A shift to higher-skilled jobs. The greatest job growth currently is among professional and technical workers, as well as managers, officers and owners.

The fitness manager will be interacting with members with higher levels of formal, informal and technical education. Managers must understand and train their staffs how to accommodate members with higher-skilled jobs, as well as laborers or service workers.

Comments are closed.