Fitness Australia business members rank ‘Exercise is Medicine’ as the hottest industry trend for 2020


Fitness Australia has advised that a survey of its industry business members asking for predictions for next year anticipates that ‘Exercise is Medicine’ will be the hottest trend in the fitness industry for 2020.

Exercise is Medicine® is a global health initiative that is focused on encouraging primary care medical professionals and other health care providers to include physical activity assessment and associated treatment recommendations as part of every patient visit and referring their patients to exercise professionals.

Commenting on the significance of the results, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish advised “having our members identify exercise as medicine as the top trend for 2020 reinforces that preventive health should be at the top of the Australian health agenda.

“Through the Exercise is Medicine program, doctors are provided resources to assist with recommending exercise to their patients – as obesity levels continue to rise it has never been more important for primary care practitioners to take a proactive approach to exercise prescription as a form of preventive medicine.”

Fitness business managers have recognised that employing Registered Exercise Professionals (ranked fourth in the predictions) is critical in supporting the unique and wide-ranging needs of their clients.

Recognising this, Elvish adds “it’s encouraging to see that industry standards and a quality workforce is predicted as trending in 2020 – a key factor in delivering effective and safe exercise to Australian communities, and in having the credibility and trust of medical and health professionals.”

“This underpins our mission to continuously raise industry standards through evidence-based education, professional development and research.”

With Fitness Australia’s vision of having more people more active more often comes reaching a broader user-base, Elvish added “what we also see is a large shift towards guaranteeing the accessibility of inclusive fitness services (ranked 10th) – addressing inequality, offering a supportive and welcoming environment where people share a common goal of improving their fitness and health – they are not judged or discriminated against based on their immutable characteristics.

“These characteristics can include race, religion, age, gender, and disability status or body weight.”

With a current heightened awareness of mental health issues amongst the general population comes discussion and a seeking of evidence to support good mental health management, and we know that exercise plays such an integral role in preventing and reducing the symptoms of mental health issues including stress.

Elvish went on to say “exercise as a tool for stress management ranked seventh) is a recommendation of Beyond Blue, Australia’s leading non-profit organisation on mental health, in particular exercising every day to help relax your mind. Due to advocacy and advances in mental health research, medical professionals are now prescribing exercise as part of their stress treatment plans to combat the symptoms of stress, depression and anxiety.”

The need for physical activity providers to develop fitness programs for older adults (ranked fifh) is becoming more prevalent due to our ageing society.

Here Elvish commented “Fitness Australia’s recently commissioned research reveals that Baby Boomers are the most active generation which tells us that they have an increasing desire to be more physically active.

“The World Health Organisation’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity, that Australia is a signatory to, recommends that older adults should engage in regular physical activity that focuses on balance and muscular strength to support healthy ageing and independent living.”

Australia’s Top 12 Fitness Trends for 2020 are:

1. Exercise is Medicine 
2. Group Training with an Instructor
3. HIIT
4. Employing Registered Exercise Professionals:
5. Fitness for older adults
6. Functional fitness training
7. Exercise for stress management
8. Body weight training 
9. Training with free-weights
10. Inclusive fitness
11. Small group training
12. Wearable Technology

Exercise is Medicine is a non-profit initiative co-launched by the American College of Sports Medicine and the American Medical Association.

Lower image shows Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish (at right) with Federal Minister for Sport Richard Colbeck.

Related Articles

4th December 2019 – MINDBODY’s inaugural Australia Wellness Index shows changing exercise behaviours of Australians

3rd December 2019 – Fitness Show’s Shaun Krenz assesses Top Fitness Trends for 2020

7th November 2019 – ACSM predicts top global fitness trends for 2020

18th November 2019 – Research shows Baby Boomers as Australia’s most active generation

31st October 2019 – Fitness Australia announce a record number of professionals seeking election to its Board of Directors

30th September 2019 – Constitutional changes allow Registered Professionals to be elected to Fitness Australia’s Board of Directors

7th June 2019 – Australian Register of Exercise Professionals opened to allow for more degree-qualified people to work in fitness

17th January 2019 – Research shows HIIT training as more than another fitness fad

5th December 2019 – Fitness facilities have the potential to ‘be the leading providers of weight loss solutions’

31st December 2018 – IHRSA resource Gives Clubs Tools to Help Members Lose Weight

11th May 2015 – Exercise is a proven ‘medicine’ for cancer

20th May 2011 – Doctors to prescribe exercise as medicine

16th July 2016 – Green Prescriptions helping young people get more active

18th February 2015 – New Zealand moves forward with green prescriptions

22nd November 2019 – Australian and New Zealand teenagers among the least active in the world


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