Researchers from Central Queensland University, Australia, have highlighted how risk management in the health and fitness industry is sub-optimal across Queensland. Inappropriately designed fitness programs and services puts users at increased risk of injury and adverse health outcomes rather than providing them with the tools to build a healthy lifestyle.
With obesity rates growing 15 percent each year, by 2020, Australia is set to be the third fattest nation after the USA and England. More people are exercising in order to reduce the problems associated with obesity, such as diabetes, cardiovascular disease and cancer. However, risk assessment is inadequate in terms of sports facilities and many fitness programs rely on the participants taking out insurance and signing legal waivers rather than their being taught safe practices and given a safe environment in which to exercise.
AdvertisementResearcher Betul Sekendiz suggests that health and sports facilities must have a risk-management plan and a preventative maintenance program. Fitness centers must face up to their responsibilities in order to avoid problems associated with irresponsive practice, such as the low but catastrophic risk of new users suffering heart failure, for instance, when given an overly vigorous workout. Health records must be maintained properly, pre-activity health screening procedures should be conducted. There must be at least one accessible and functional automated external defibrillator on site and staff trained in their use. Regular inspections of equipment and facilities must be carried out.
The report is published in the International Journal of Business Continuity and Risk Management.