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Open AccessArticle

Foresight for the Fitness Sector: Results from a European Delphi Study and Its Relevance in the Time of COVID-19

1
Institute for European Sport Development and Leisure Studies, German Sport University, 50933 Cologne, Germany
2
Faculty of Physical Culture, Gdansk University of Physical Education and Sport, 80-336 Gdansk, Poland
3
Observatory of Healthy and Active Living of Spain Active Foundation, Centre for Sport Studies, King Juan Carlos University, 28942 Madrid, Spain
4
Independent Scholar, 1000 Brussels, Belgium
5
Independent Consultant, Sunderland SR5 1SN, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17(23), 8941; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238941
Received: 11 November 2020 / Revised: 25 November 2020 / Accepted: 27 November 2020 / Published: 1 December 2020
The fitness sector is an essential player in the promotion of physical activity and healthy behaviour in Europe. However, the sector is confronted with numerous socio-demographic trends that will shape its ability to be financially successful and contribute to public health. The sector must understand current drivers of change and the skills its workforce needs to navigate them. As such, using the results of a 2019 Delphi Survey of over 50 fitness experts from 26 countries, we aim to define the drivers of change facing the sector and identify the skills needed by the fitness workforce to navigate these changes. We find that several technological, social, health and economic trends affect the sector. As a result, so-called soft skills such as communication or customer service, along with digital technology skills, are becoming increasingly important. There is also growing recognition that fitness professionals need to be trained to work with a number of special populations. Furthermore, we argue that many of the trends identified here—such as the increasing use of technology or the focus on individual customer needs—have been accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic. We conclude by arguing that well-developed, pan-European qualifications are needed to address these common issues. View Full-Text
Keywords: fitness; exercise; foresight; delphi study; Europe fitness; exercise; foresight; delphi study; Europe
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MDPI and ACS Style

Moustakas, L.; Szumilewicz, A.; Mayo, X.; Thienemann, E.; Grant, A. Foresight for the Fitness Sector: Results from a European Delphi Study and Its Relevance in the Time of COVID-19. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2020, 17, 8941. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238941

AMA Style

Moustakas L, Szumilewicz A, Mayo X, Thienemann E, Grant A. Foresight for the Fitness Sector: Results from a European Delphi Study and Its Relevance in the Time of COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 2020; 17(23):8941. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238941

Chicago/Turabian Style

Moustakas, Louis; Szumilewicz, Anna; Mayo, Xian; Thienemann, Elisabeth; Grant, Andrew. 2020. "Foresight for the Fitness Sector: Results from a European Delphi Study and Its Relevance in the Time of COVID-19" Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 17, no. 23: 8941. https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph17238941

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