The CEO’s Column appears every month in the Club Business International magazine.
As we continue to recover from the pandemic around the globe, there are encouraging signs of optimism and hope. In the U.S., Americans are encouraged by President Biden’s vision that citizens will be able to gather for the July 4 celebrations free from restrictions and mask-wearing. In other parts of the world, moving toward “normalization” progresses in wide disparity depending on infection rates, vaccine inoculations, and government perspectives.
Some emerging global themes have also risen to prominence and should be given significant attention by our industry. Following are three of the top “big picture” opportunities.
Mental health concerns have moved to the forefront and become top of mind for the general population, healthcare providers, and overall public health.
A recent study from Kaiser found that 4 in 10 adults in the U.S. have reported symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder in 2021. Further, that 56% of young adults report symptoms of anxiety or depressive disorder and that group is also more likely to report substance abuse (25% vs. 13%) and suicidal thoughts (26% vs. 11%).
These are staggering numbers. This also represents an obvious need that health clubs can play a role in reversing. Being physically active regularly is a proven, effective, and inexpensive anecdote. One that our industry should be poised to assist with.