Focus group research conducted by the AFIRM team in January and February 2013 involved 58 fitness professionals sampled from seven urban and regional locations across four Australian States

Focus group research conducted by the AFIRM team in January and February 2013 involved 58 fitness professionals sampled from seven urban and regional locations across four Australian States (Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia).  The 58 fitness professionals identified the following as their top six most important, risk management concerns.

  1. The competency of fitness professionals;
  2. The effectiveness of pre-exercise screening and management of de-conditioned clients;
  3. Poor supervision of fitness service users and incorrect use of equipment;
  4. Fitness trainers failing to remain within their scope of practice;
  5. Equipment misuse (as distinct from incorrect use); and
  6. Poor fitness training environments.
Research

 

The focus group research was used to develop the AFIRM National Survey to determine how widespread these concerns were across the Australian fitness industry. This research has been published in the Journal of Law and Medicine in an article entitled “Legal Risk Management and Injury in the Fitness Industry: The Outcomes of Focus Group Research and a National Survey of Fitness Professionals”.

To summarise, the National Survey, completed by 1178 fitness professionals identified three key challenges for the fitness industry.

  1. Management, implementation and monitoring of safety policy.
  2. Implementation of client training / education in exercise programmes.
  3. Maintenance, design and operation of the facility / equipment.

To supplement the focus group research and national survey research, the AFIRM Project will in due course publish evidence drawn from in-depth interviews with fitness professionals, and physical audits of facilities by suitably trained assessors in Queensland, New South Wales, Victoria and South Australia.