The International Health Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) has formed the Global Health & Fitness Alliance (GHFA) to establish a stronger association of the health and fitness industry with healthcare, IHRSA announced.

A group of more than 80 health clubs, suppliers and national industry associations around the world have volunteered to participate.

The alliance will work to position the industry as a key contributor in the preventive healthcare continuum by promoting the industry’s contributions to the health, well-being and prosperity of societies and by facilitating third-party evidence-based research on the health benefits and economic contributions of the industry. The group also will promote policies, standards and regulations that support health and fitness business operations.

The GHFA’s four objectives for the year are:

  1. Contribute towards the achievements of the World Health Organization’s Global Action Plan on Physical Activity (GAPPA), and ensure that health clubs are a key driver to the solution.
  2. Identify research objectives, resources, and partners needed to achieve research outcomes and other initiatives.
  3. Secure funding to carry out initiatives.
  4. Complement IHRSA and the fitness industry’s cooperative efforts to work with national and local alliances, industry coalitions, and other industry stakeholders.

The North America businesses that are part of the group are Evolution Fitness, Gymvmt, Club Automation, Curtis Club Advisors, MXM, Gold’s Gym SoCal/GGFA, ABC Financial/EVO, FIC Canada.

The international companies involved are Orangetheory Fitness, Gympass, SE Brands Global, Escape Fitness, Life Fitness, Matrix, Precor, Technogym, Vivafit, Energie Group, Myzone, Les Mills International, Fitness Development LLC, UNESCO Chair in Inclusive Fitness, ICREPS and the American Council on Exercise.

IHRSA will allocate staff resources to support the alliance, including facilitating meetings as needed, and IHRSA will be a clearinghouse for collaboration and resource sharing. IHRSA also will establish and administer a dedicated fund for any monies raised by the GHFA to fund its initiatives.