My good friend, Dave Courteen, Managing Director of the UK club chain, Fitness Express has just written about one of my research themes – growing levels of isolation faced by people in the UK.
Dave mentions a Government forecast that indicates that by 2010, the single person home will be the most common household unit in the UK, while the `singles` market is the fastest growing travel segment. Linked to this `isolation` trend is the fact that most of us now prefer to e-mail the colleague sitting next to us, rather than swivelling our chair and talking to them – that’s of course, if you still have a desk and have not been packed off to work at home all day with only the cat to talk to.
An Opportunity for the health club industry?
Well it should be. A health club should be the place where people are brought back together and where they can experience a renewed sense of `membership` and community. But clubs will have to become a lot more savvy in how this need for personal communication and a sense of belonging is nurtured – the whole member journey from the time they enter the club to the time they leave. Dave talks about a smile on arrival and remembering a member’s name – not wishing to be cynical, but I don’t think I’m going to see it during my lifetime!