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Closing gyms and leisure centres, means two-thirds of cancer prehab and rehab services have been out of action
POSTED 13 Nov 2020 . BY Tom Walker
Greg Whyte says two thirds of the country's cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at the industry's facilities Credit: ukactive
The UK's physical activity sector is currently lobbying to have gyms and leisure centres classed as essential services, in order for them to be able to operate during COVID-19 lockdowns.

There is, however, plenty of evidence to suggest that the sector already is an essential service.

This is the view of Greg Whyte, chair of ukactive's, Scientific Advisory Board and Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University.

According to Whyte, a perfect example of the essential nature of the sector is the fact that two-thirds of the country's cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at industry facilities.

"According to Anthony Crozier and the PAEx team at Liverpool John Moore’s University, 66 per cent of our nation’s cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at leisure centres, with 69 per cent of this provision funded through local authorities and the third sector," Whyte says.

"In addition, 73 per cent of functional assessments and 80 per cent of the exercise programmes which support these interventions are delivered by Level 4 instructors from the sector.

"If we are to avoid a future healthcare catastrophe, we must recognise the fitness sector as an essential service."

Whyte also said the need for the physical activity sector's support services will only grow, once the country emerges from the pandemic.

"Macmillan recently reported 50,000 undiagnosed cases of cancer during the first lockdown, a figure that is projected to break 100,000 by next year," Whyte said.

"But the damage caused by lockdown does not end with missed diagnosis, because the closure of gyms and leisure facilities also has an impact.

"If we are to protect our health service, which is reportedly at breaking point, and effectively deal with COVID-19 and avoid a future healthcare catastrophe, we must recognise the fitness and leisure sector as an essential service in the prevention and treatment of disease – as well as enhancing the health of the nation – and keep these valuable facilities open."

• To read more on Whyte's thoughts on why gyms and leisure centres should be classed as essential, click here to read his blog post on the ukactive website.
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NEWS
Closing gyms and leisure centres, means two-thirds of cancer prehab and rehab services have been out of action
POSTED 13 Nov 2020 . BY Tom Walker
Greg Whyte says two thirds of the country's cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at the industry's facilities Credit: ukactive
The UK's physical activity sector is currently lobbying to have gyms and leisure centres classed as essential services, in order for them to be able to operate during COVID-19 lockdowns.

There is, however, plenty of evidence to suggest that the sector already is an essential service.

This is the view of Greg Whyte, chair of ukactive's, Scientific Advisory Board and Professor of Applied Sport and Exercise Science at Liverpool John Moores University.

According to Whyte, a perfect example of the essential nature of the sector is the fact that two-thirds of the country's cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at industry facilities.

"According to Anthony Crozier and the PAEx team at Liverpool John Moore’s University, 66 per cent of our nation’s cancer prehabilitation and rehabilitation support services are delivered at leisure centres, with 69 per cent of this provision funded through local authorities and the third sector," Whyte says.

"In addition, 73 per cent of functional assessments and 80 per cent of the exercise programmes which support these interventions are delivered by Level 4 instructors from the sector.

"If we are to avoid a future healthcare catastrophe, we must recognise the fitness sector as an essential service."

Whyte also said the need for the physical activity sector's support services will only grow, once the country emerges from the pandemic.

"Macmillan recently reported 50,000 undiagnosed cases of cancer during the first lockdown, a figure that is projected to break 100,000 by next year," Whyte said.

"But the damage caused by lockdown does not end with missed diagnosis, because the closure of gyms and leisure facilities also has an impact.

"If we are to protect our health service, which is reportedly at breaking point, and effectively deal with COVID-19 and avoid a future healthcare catastrophe, we must recognise the fitness and leisure sector as an essential service in the prevention and treatment of disease – as well as enhancing the health of the nation – and keep these valuable facilities open."

• To read more on Whyte's thoughts on why gyms and leisure centres should be classed as essential, click here to read his blog post on the ukactive website.
RELATED STORIES
Study: exercise stalls cancer growth by changing T cells in the immune system


Cancer sufferers who exercise regularly have, generally, a better prognosis than inactive patients – but science hasn't quite managed to agree why this is.
Nuffield introduces rehab scheme for Covid sufferers – exercise placed at heart of programme


Nuffield Health is launching a specialist, 12-week rehabilitation programme in Manchester to support Covid-19 patients in their recovery.
Preventable lifestyle diseases are driving COVID-19 and we need a radical change of direction to deal with it, says The Lancet


Persistent and rising levels of lifestyle disease across the world have exacerbated the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Richard Horton, editor-in-chief of The Lancet.
FEATURE: Opinion: The case for gyms


Gyms must be recognised as a cornerstone of our global recovery from COVID-19, says Phillip Mills
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'Rebel' uk gym owner Nick Whitcombe becoming global advocate for fitness
Nick Whitcombe, the independent gym owner who refused to shut his gym during the October tier 3 restrictions, is becoming a fitness industry campaigner of international renown.
The fitness industry can drive the UK’s economic recovery from the pandemic, says Huw Edwards
This year's UK government Spending Review, announced in Parliament by chancellor Rishi Sunak on 25 November, offers the physical activity sector opportunities to "transform communities", according to industry body, ukactive.
100k people to get free gym sessions as fitness industry strengthens its position as an essential service
Up to 100k people will benefit from the free gym and physical activity sessions, thanks to a partnership between ukactive, NHS England and Improvement (NHSE/I), Sport England and the National Academy for Social Prescribing.
UK fitness sector facing fight to keep group exercise open in tier 3 areas
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MIPIM Asia Summit

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