The new OAP – that’s Athletic Older Person to you and me!

Silver surfers, the grey pound, baby-boomers reaching retirement age – thanks to headlines like this we’re all aware the sixty-plus age group is the fastest growing in the UK, but what does this mean for the fitness industry?

The following article in today’s Daily Mail makes interesting reading and, if it’s to be believed, could mean a change for fitness professionals as to who they teach but they way they teach.

What do you think? Have you noticed larger numbers of older adults exercising with you? Have you had to modify your classes/sessions because of this? Is the industry ready for more older adults taking up gym memberships and attending exercise classes? As ever we’d love to know your views on this…..

Right to reply

Check out the FIA’s David Stalker’s response to an article in the Guardian calling gyms a “genius con”.

Television Fitness Guru Dies Aged 96

The Independent carries the story of the death of Jack Lalanne, a fitness fanatic who’s often regarded as the father of the modern fitness movement and who was one of the first television instructors.

Read more about his inspirational life here:

Interactive REPs journal online

REPs Online Access

REPs Online Access

You may have noticed that the Dec ’10 issue of the REPs journal included an interactive article reviewing the anatomy of the knee. We had some trouble with the animations to start with so these may not have been active when you first tried to access them, but if you’re up for it, give it another go. The next couple of issues will include similar features so make sure to visit – here you will find the animated version of the December issue and also previous issues of the REPs journal that have been published by sportEX.

sportEX would like to thank Primal Pictures for the use of the anatomy animations in this feature. sportEX was recently nominated as a finalist in the global Digital Magazine Awards 2010, for the use of interactivity within the digital versions of our publications.

Save the dates!

The first of the REPs Conventions will be held on Friday 18th February 2011 in Wales.

The South East Convention is planned for May 11th, the Scottish one for June 28th (subject to confirmation), the national Convention at LIW in Birmingham on September 22nd and the Northern on November 18th.

As well as hearing from key-note speakers and choosing from a range of interactive workshops and seminars delegates will be also earn 4 CPD points by attending.

For more information, including booking and venue details visit

FIA joins the Great Swapathon!

Gyms and health clubs belonging to the Fitness Industry Association are supporting the Great Swapathon; the latest campaign from Change4Life, which encourages families to lead a healthier lifestyle through physical activity and a healthier diet.

Physical activity swaps, including half price family and individual swims, and a month’s discounted gym or outdoor fitness membership, contribute to the five million voucher booklets, worth £50 each, due to be given away through The News of the World and Asda supermarket, starting on Sunday (Jan 9th).

The Great Swapathon encourages families to swap at least one unhealthy habit in food, alcohol and physical activity for a healthier one. It provides consumers with:

  • a £50 book of vouchers for money off healthier foods and activities
  • recipes for healthier alternatives to favourite snacks
  • recipes for family options for each meal time
  • nutritional and activity advice

David Stalker, Executive Director, Fitness Industry Association said: “This is a very exciting initiative for our industry to be involved in. The New Year is typically a time when our industry comes under scrutiny but this year we are delivering the physical activity strand of a major public health campaign.

“The campaign is yet another way in which we are developing integrated health solutions by working alongside Government and industry. It’s all about working together for the health of the nation. It is essential that we make physical activity more accessible in order to support more people to engage with it”.

The Government is aiming to deliver one million healthy swaps among families and adults in England.

For the physical activity swap, consumers will be asked to visit to register then access offer details of participating FIA members.

What you say about Working in Fitness…..

Preliminary results from last year’s annual Working in Fitness Survey, developed by REPs and SkillsActive, show the current economic climate is being reflected by the fitness industry.

Pay increases are on hold, employer contributions to training are down and the amount of training overall seems to be showing signs of slowing.

But 68 per cent of fitness professionals say they intend to stay working in the industry for the next five years at least.

A full breakdown of figures from the 2010 survey will be published in the March issue of the REPs Journal – in the meantime why not let us know what you think the best and worst things are about working in the fitness industry?

VAT’s it all about?

Confused by the increase in VAT? Our friendly accountant (and Journal columnist) Jamie Crampton gives us the low-down on it.

He writes: “ VAT was increased on the 4th January 2011 by 2.5% to 20%. For any VAT registered businesses this means that anything they sell (which is VAT-able) on or after this date must have VAT charged at 20%.

“The people most affected by the increase are general consumers, because the vast majority of them will not, unlike businesses, be able to reclaim VAT on anything that they buy. Similarly, smaller non-VAT registered businesses will have to absorb the extra costs. There are, however, some key things to remember:-

  • The increase refers only to the VAT element of the cost of the goods concerned.

As an example:- If an item cost £100 before the VAT increase, then the VAT within that total cost (at 17.5%) is £14.89, making the net cost £85.11. If we then add VAT at the revised rate of 20%, i.e £17.02, the total cost now is £102.13 – which is an overall increase on the total price of 2.13%, not 2.5%.

  • Certain items are exempt from VAT and therefore will not (or should not) increase in price simply because of the change in VAT rate. Examples of these include:-

a. Most food

b. Children’s clothing

c. Insurance

d. Transport fares (train/bus) and

e. Books.

Similarly some items are taxed at a lower VAT rate which has not increased from 5% – domestic fuel being the primary example.

“There is little doubt that some businesses will (and have) use the general public’s limited knowledge of VAT to justify price increases over and above the rises that should happen, at the moment supermarkets are making big noises about not increasing their food prices despite the VAT increase – as you will see above some of these items are exempt from VAT and, therefore, shouldn’t be increased anyway.

“The biggest impact will undoubtedly be the rise in fuel costs – unfortunately motoring costs are, to most businesses, unavoidable. There are several websites that will direct you to the cheapest petrol station in your area, but in general with fuel, as with everything else you spend on, it will be a case of “shopping around” – one small benefit about a rise in taxation hopefully is that people place more emphasis on controlling what they spend, which should but doesn’t always happen anyway.

“If your business is registered for VAT then you may want to look into some of the schemes that are available – whilst they don’t change the amount of VAT that you charge there may be one that is beneficial for you and may save you money.  The HMRC website ( has details, or you can ask a reputable accountant.”



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