Being fit is more important than being fat

A new study suggests that it is better to be overweight and active than normal weight and sedentary in terms of risk of mortality.

Using data from the Cooper Centre Longitudinal Study exercise scientist Steven Blair claims physical inactivity is the biggest public health problem of the 21st century.

He says a focus on weight-loss and diet is less important than a focus on keeping fit.

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REPs on the road

The REPs team is back in London after travelling to the Doncaster Dome for the Register’s Northern convention. Delegates were able to choose from a range of practical workshops sessions on exercise for ultimate fat loss, speed training, social media, cardiac rehabilitation, ViPR, studio powerbag conditioning, creating and maintaining motivation, integrated back training, mental health issues, muscle testing and physiology, and strength and conditioning, earning them four CPD points.

They also heard from keynote speaker and weight loss guru Pete Cohen, REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch, and SkillsActive’s activepassport manager Claire Westrop. Jean-Ann said: “Our conventions always have a good vibe but this was one of the best yet. Our members are passionate about the work they do and en masse that enthusiasm and drive is incredible to see. As ever our practical workshops were hugely popular and everyone left feeling tired but inspired!”

The next REPs convention will be held in Cardiff on February 8th 2012. This will be followed by the South East convention planned for May 10th 2012, the Scottish convention on June 27th 2012 and a new bumper National convention to coincide with Leisure Industry Week in late September.

activepassport trial

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A new on-line skills, qualifications and achievement record is being trialled by two employers. The new activepassport, from SkillsActive, will eventually be rolled out to all REPs members as part of their membership package. Activepassport is a unique on-line tool that delivers fast and easy access to verified records on identity, skills, qualifications, employment history and professional achievements. The activepassport pilot, supported by Virgin Active and DC Leisure, will take place over the next few months before activepassport is offered to all members.

REPs Register Jean-Ann Marnoch says activepassport is a powerful career tool and will be a significant bonus for members. “The benefits of activepassport are twofold,” she commented. “Workers can log all their training across the sector which in turn will facilitate career progression and opportunities. Employers can then gain access to these records, assisting the recruitment and training process. All this will ultimately help establish the professional status of our industry.”

To find out more about activepassport visit

News just in – Working in Fitness 2011

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Headline findings from the 8th Working in Fitness Survey show that:

  • Average levels of pay have remained stagnant since last year.
  • Nearly half of all respondents are self-employed / freelance.
  • Men are more likely to work in a full-time permanent position (40%) as opposed to the 20% of women who work full-time.
  • 88% of those taking part said they had attended some kind of training in the last year.
  • Respondents inEnglandare more likely to pay for their own training than those living in Wales or Scotland.

A full report of findings, including full analysis on salaries, types of training, CPD points, job satisfaction, working conditions and how key workers spend their time by occupation is available to buy via the SkillsActive website

Harman: ‘Sport and leisure inspires people’

Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman has hailed the role of sport and leisure in acting as an inspiration to people and for providing jobs and opportunities for young people across the UK. Addressing the Business in Sport and Leisure (BISL) 2011 Conference at London’s Lord’s Cricket Ground at the beginning of the month (10 November), Harman was making one of her first major speeches since taking over the shadow culture brief from Ivan Lewis last month.

Delegates were told how sport and leisure continues to remain an important part of people’s lives, as well as forming part of the UK’s national identity. Meanwhile, Harman also hailed the sector’s role in employing one-in-four young people, while emphasising how important sport and leisure will be in keeping an ageing UK population healthy.

Harman told the BISL 2011 Conference: “I look forward to working with you to develop a new plan for jobs and growth in sports and leisure; to protect sports in our regions; to protect sports in schools; and to secure opportunities for young people in sports and leisure. It’s vital for the economy, it’s vital for young people and for the country as well.”

Euro Standards

REPs Registrar Jean-Ann Marnoch joined her international counterparts at the European Health and Fitness Association Summit in Brussels earlier this month (November). Delegates discussed European Standards, Accreditation of European Training Providers and pre-requisites for entry into vocational and degree qualifications.

She said: “It is always so interesting to have the opportunity to discuss and appreciate international differences and variations. Coming together in this way moves the industry closer towards more reciprocal arrangements, to benefit members wishing to travel and work around the world.”

Also attending the summit was senior programme manager for SkillsActive Ben Gittus who added: “The EHFA International Standards event was a great opportunity to discuss education standards and qualifications with colleagues from across Europe. However the best aspect to the event was the attendance and input from the main American instructor certification agencies. There were presentations from both ACE and ACSM and it was really useful to share insights and ways of working with these organisations.”

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