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Category Archives: Health & Fitness News

Health & Fitness Industry News from 4Leisure Recruitment

Leisure trends: The UK Leisure Industry in 2020

It’s that time of year again when we take a look at what might be the main happenings in the UK leisure industry for the year ahead. What do you think will be big in during 2020 and beyond?

This year will bring a couple of major sporting events which are sure to get more people involved, particularly in the more obscure sports – yes, it’s Olympic Games time again! This year it’s Tokyo’s turn to play host and it’s happening from late July. It’s also Euro 2020 time in international football. To mark 60 years of the tournament, rather than one country hosting all the games, 12 cities across Europe are sharing the games out, but the final will be right here in London on the 12th July.

Pile on top the usual tennis fever that hits around about Wimbledon time and the regular golf, cycling, and running events and it’s sure to be a busy one for those of us working in leisure, health & fitness especially.

But what do we think will be the big leisure trends in 2020?

Further blurring of the lines between wellness, fitness, and self-care

For more people, it’s no longer about going to the gym to do some body building, or going to a spa for a quick facial. It’s now about a more holistic wellness experience; visiting a spa or a gym is for working on all aspects of wellness, including physical and mental health, and seeing exercise and therapies as a way of improving both mind and body. Wellness retreats are increasing in number as more people are wanting to spend longer on developing their overall health and wellness rather than just hitting the gym for a quick hour after work.

This is a good look at how Barry’s Bootcamp has incorporated mental wellness alongside their core physical fitness offering –

Gareth Bale’s Rowbots programme is openly embracing active mindfulness as an important driver of physical exercise


Veganism has taken off hugely over the last couple of years and 2020 will see further growth. With a concern both for the planet’s resources and the positive impact of clean eating on the human body, more and more people are turning to animal-free diets. If your leisure facility isn’t catering to vegans, then you could be missing out on a huge chunk of the market.

What is driving the vegan trend?

Wearable tech

Yes, we’ve been saying for some time that wearable tech will be huge this year, and we’ve not been wrong. 2020 will see further developments into this arena, no doubt, with spending on wearable tech as a whole predicted to reach $52 billion by 2020.

As wearable tech gets more smaller and more integrated (gone are the days of walkie-talkie sized pedometers!) the more uses will be found for them in the fitness industry especially. You can already link an app or a FitBit to your home virtual assistant, and with the popularity of home VAs expected to explode this year, the use of fitness apps won’t be limited to only the serious health fanatics among us. Expect your children and your own nan to get excited about how many steps they’ve done today!

Photo by Rahul Chakraborty on Unsplash

In fact, improved technology is permeating on all aspects of our lives and the leisure industry is not immune to its impact –

In-home technology will continue to grow in 2020 – did you know you can even box from the comfort of your living room now? With more and more technologies available, your gym better provide something that tempts people out of their homes and training with you. What does your facility provide which in-home technology could not?

Riding the waves

Surfing is to make its debut at the summer Olympic Games. While surfing has always been reasonably popular in the UK, particularly in places like Newquay in Cornwall, 2019 also saw the beginnings of a more formal provision in the form of facilities like Surf Snowdonia and The Wave in Bristol. Could the Olympics push more people to take an interest in surfing both as a leisure activity and a sport?

Photo by Joseph Greve on Unsplash

Increased convenience of health & fitness

Wellness hotels are on the increase. While a lot of hotels already have a gym for guest use, wellness hotels take this one step further. But just what are they? If you’ve never heard of a wellness hotel, this article is eye-opening

Hilton Hotels Worldwide have launched their Five Feet to Fitness concept with mini gyms, virtual fitness classes, meditation equipment and hydration stations in guest rooms.

When will this hit the UK? It already has – the Doubletree by Hilton in Islington already has these rooms available. Expect roll out to more locations in due course.


And who needs a real-life PT when you can get workouts sent directly to your phone?

You’d better start working on that USP, people!

Physical therapies on the rocks

 Cryotherapy growth is set to be anything but frozen in 2020. It is an increasingly popular therapy for injuries, discomfort, and skin conditions.

But just what is Cryotherapy?

Freezing regenerates skin cells and encourages faster healing, and you could start to see cryotherapy treatment centres in gyms and wellness centres around the country.

Have a look and see what the future may hold for the UK’s CryoAction

Photo by Osman Rana on Unsplash

….And finally, what about Brexit?

I’m sure we were having the Brexit discussion this time last year. Anyway, as we can now see, Brexit wasn’t to be in 2019 though plenty of unrest was caused just by us thinking about it. It’s been another challenging year, particularly for the spa and beauty sector where growth has been held back somewhat by the lack of qualified staff available. Maybe the future will see more leisure providers investing in bringing on and nurturing home-grown talent? The rise in apprenticeship provision has helped but demand will likely outstrip supply for the foreseeable.

Any downturn in the economy brought about by a hard Brexit will hit consumers and spending will likely fall on items which are considered to be a luxury, so start working on positioning your offering as one of life’s essentials if you want to survive the turmoil that leaving the EU is likely to generate.

If you want help navigating the waters of the leisure industry in 2020, get in touch!

Why we support Mental Health Awareness Week – 13th – 19th May 2019

Are you looking for work in the Spa & Beauty industry? Check out our spa & beauty jobs board

The theme for this year’s Mental Health Awareness Week is Body Image and it’s a pertinent topic for those of us working in the health & fitness, and spa & beauty industries. Is your leisure business getting involved this week?

Learn more about Mental Health Awareness Week and how you can support it at

Mental Health Awareness Week 2019

The conversations around mental health have increased exponentially over the last decade. The steady removal of stigma and the decreasing reluctance to embrace the mental issues that define our very individuality may well be seen as a pivotal moment in the societal shift in our lifetime. This shift in how we accept each other affects every sector including the leisure industry, few more so than the health & beauty sector.

Spa & Beauty and body image

The beauty and wellness sector provides therapeutic services and products for clients. The whole ethos of the sector is to make clients feel good about themselves, but the focus is changing from how people are made to feel confident about the way they look to how people are gaining confidence through the way they feel. The focus much more is on the mental wellbeing of clients and how beauty and spa therapy can play a part in this. Has your spa and beauty business been shifting to cater to this new way of thinking?

The leisure industry has seen many campaigns recently where ‘real people’ are being used in marketing ads instead of models. ‘Real people’ are being used to highlight body-positive messages and work towards reducing the anxiety surrounding the issue of body image.

The ‘This Girl Can’ Campaign is a great example of how not focussing on body image but how promoting mental wellbeing alongside mental and physical strength can have positive effects. Their research shows  ‘many women are put off taking part in physical activity due to a fear of judgement – this might be about the way the look when they exercise, that they’re not good enough to join in or they should be spending more time on their families, studies or other priorities’

Soon, there will be a huge push in normalising the diverse range of people who do sport from a disability angle, in a similar vein to the This Girl Can campaign which played a big part in getting more women to take part in sport and exercise. Look out for it, it’s on its way! In beauty, a good example would be the marketing campaigns which use people of all races, genders, and ableness to break the myth that only one type of body is good enough.

Photo by Kevin André on Unsplash

The fitness industry and body image

The fitness industry has a crucial role in promoting body positive messages. The leisure industry is in a unique vantage point of being able to focus on building ‘healthy’ bodies and people who are confident regardless of their shape, height, weight or shoe size. Making health about health and not ‘body image’ is a task that the leisure industry can and will succeed in. Making health about overall wellness is already well underway and the future is already looking healthy.

The conversations that Mental Health Awareness Week raises are important every year – this year that of ‘Body Image’ is central to our industry and as such a conversation the industry will have to be a part of moving forward.

Photo by Mica Asato from Pexels

Promoting mental wellness

If your leisure business is not concerned with the growing focus on mental wellbeing, then it should be. Not only could your company help the thousands of people with mental health concerns but it’s good for business; more and more people are demanding therapies and training that incorporates mental wellbeing and promoting classes and programmes that only look at physical health won’t cut it for long.

Could there be more mental health counsellors within community leisure facilities? Everyone is talking about how exercise can boost people’s body confidence but that’s only half the battle. If operators really are concerned with wellness rather than just fitness, then there needs to be a shift towards a more comprehensive array of services from those that tackle obesity and healthy eating to those that work purely on mental wellbeing. It would seem to be the next natural step.

We’d love to see mental health services in public leisure centres, private gyms and spas but, are the UK public ready to open up?

Body image is a state of mind and too often a negative body image will stop people from getting the help that they need to improve their physical health and prevent disease. By removing the idea that there is a ‘right’ and ‘wrong’ body type, more people will feel that they are able to access health and wellbeing services. Your business can play a huge role in increasing participation from people with diverse body types and get them on the road to better health both physically and mentally.

How much is your leisure business keeping up with the mental wellbeing trend?

Sport and Fitness technology: What you need to know in 2019

To look for a job in the health & fitness industry, check out our Health & Fitness jobs board.

Technology has been the buzzword of 2018 in sport and fitness, and 2019 is set to be the year when fitness tech goes mainstream. But what are the implications of technology on leisure jobs? Can technology really replace humans in the leisure industry?

We take a look at some of the health and fitness technologies on our radar and assess the impact that each may have on the demand for health and fitness professionals.

Greener gym equipment

A treadmill which generates energy as its being used has been developed by a Taiwanese athletic equipment maker. It seems like something that should have been invented years ago, yet the technology to create something that uses power and generates it at the same time isn’t simple. These ‘green’ treadmills are able to generate some power and return it to the grid but it’s not going to make a dent in closing up the hole in the ozone layer; the output is minimal and the cost savings in the pennies rather than the pounds.

In terms of green credentials, it’s a good PR exercise and a gym in Brighton has already started to use them. Could knowing that you are contributing less to degrading the planet make you more likely to work out? Possibly, but it won’t dent demand for leisure professionals. It’s a good step in the right direction and who knows, with advances in technology, the fitness industry could one day be carbon neutral.

Photo by chuttersnap on Unsplash

A surge in EMS?

Electrical Muscle Stimulation – or EMS – training was all over the place at FIBO2019. EMS training combines exercise with electric currents to make your muscles work harder, safely.  This is HIIT with extra HI. This is one tech that works in tandem with a PT, who controls the EMS kit.

Find out more at Miha Bodytec

© Miha Bodytec

Do you really need a Peloton?

Apparently everyone needs a Peloton. These are high-end exercise bikes which are a bike and class all in one. With the addition of a screen and smart technology, these are interactive, inspirational, and aspirational; the price tag of £2k is certainly an investment.

Could Pelotons reduce the need for fitness instructors? Potentially, yes these could have a major impact. With punters being able to join in a live session at a time of their choosing from the comfort of their own home, trips to the gym could be eliminated. As one instructor can handle hundreds of clients at the same time rather than a couple of dozen in a gym, then you’ll see why some personal trainers are concerned.

However, this remote method of exercise doesn’t suit everyone, and the hefty price tag will put them out of reach for most of us for a while yet. The future is coming, but it’s not here yet!

What could sports tech look like in your lifetime?

We love this tool from Coral – – where you can enter your age and it will tell you what technology is likely to materialise and when. It’s good to see clothing that can help reduce impacts and minimise injuries, and also to see smart technology to help racehorses, but we’re not totally sold on the others.

We can see drones and AI being helpful to referees and umpires but we think it would be quite sad to see them take over completely – it’s not the same hurling abuse at an un-named robot when your favourite team is losing. And while robots could be a boon to those looking after sports pitches, we still think that the human touch will be essential here, as well as human knowledge. After all, someone will need to look after this growing metal army. Could some of these have an impact on leisure jobs for humans? Possibly, but we don’t think anyone needs to panic just yet.

Photo by Jared Brashier on Unsplash

What is wearable technology in fitness?

When you talk about fitness tech, most people will think of wearable tech. At the moment, wearable tech seems to be limited to measuring devices, such as FitBits and heart rate monitors.

Have a look at 6 health and fitness techs for 2019

Motiv’s fitness ring is a great example of how wearable tech is getting more advanced and smaller at the same time. The days of having to carry your phone in a clunky arm pouch will soon be gone. The fitness ring is small and powerful and is a somewhat affordable £199.

Could small be beautiful in 2019?

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

Can wearable tech make you healthier?

No the wearable tech cannot make you healthier – you actually have to put it on and do some exercise to be healthier. But while simply owning the tech won’t be effective on its own, it could encourage you to get out there more and enable you to track your progress, which could create a self-reinforcing cycle of good habits.

Companies like Vitality know this and are issuing insurance policy holders with tech such as Apple Watches and Garmins to encourage people into better exercise habits and rewarding (or punishing) them accordingly when they don’t reach their goals. Their aim is to get 100 million people 20% more active by 2025, and assumingly less likely to make a claim on their health and life insurance. Win/win all around.

Can wearable tech replace personal trainers?

It’s likely that some wearable tech has the potential to reduce the demand for personal trainers, but tech does not operate in a vacuum; it needs highly-skilled professionals to make, develop, and program the tech, and to interpret the data.

Not everyone will get on with the technology and there will be plenty of people happier to be shouted at by a human instead of beeped at by a robot or piece of jewellery. And there’s the social side of the gym too, and the motivational atmosphere; many people will say they’re happy to exercise at home but will they actually do it?

Much of the current technology is expensive and some have ongoing subscription fees which are commensurate with a gym and regular PT sessions. The real threat will come when it becomes cheaper and more effective to exercise using home technology than to go to a gym. Gym owners need to be mindful of the threats posed by wearable tech and try to incorporate wearable tech into their offering to complement traditional gym sessions and bring tech-lovers into the fold.

Is your job likely to be impacted by the rise in fitness technology?

Leisure trends: The UK Leisure Industry in 2019

It’s that time of year again when we take a look at what might be big in the UK leisure industry for the year ahead. What do you think will be big in during 2019 and beyond?

There are few major sporting events in 2019. It will be at least another year until the summer Olympics in Tokyo, and a whole four years before we can recreate this summer’s football fever thanks to the World Cup (although watch out for the UEFA Nations League in the summer). That’s not to say that the leisure industry will suffer too much. There’s always demand for good leisure experiences, as our client bookings have shown throughout all of 2018.

But what do we think will be the big leisure trends in 2019?

The UK Leisure Industry in 2019

Boutique and low-cost operators thriving

Boutiques and low-cost operators continue to dominate health & fitness sector growth. Many would have been forgiven for predicting the end of the low-cost boom but there doesn’t seem to be any let up in the expansion of these budget chains although several leading operators have opted for acquisition rather than new build lately. It would seem that the public just can’t get enough of the no-frills approach.

And whilst budget operators thrive, is the boutique market being driven partially by their success? If the low-cost model is appealing to the majority of gym-goers, then there has to be a place for the more discerning enthusiast. Those that shun the mass-market environment and gravitate towards a HIIT type experience facility have endless choice of specialist gyms, each with their own strongly branded identity. And the big plus for the boutiques is the floor space they can operate within, many requiring just a couple of thousand square feet. And perhaps, that in itself is the real recipe for success. Whilst the larger gyms have been battling it out for industrial space for 5000 members, these smaller clubs have been sneakily picking off small retail units as high street shops continue to struggle.

Whilst many industry insiders will say that these boutiques go after a very different market from the mainstream and don’t compete for members, it speaks volumes that so many operators are now revamping their group exercise offerings, particularly in the premium sector to lure the enthusiasts back to a full service model.

Our predictions for 2019 are that boutique market will continue to grow, fuelled by property availability and relatively cheap, owner/operator franchise models being attractive to investors. We expect to see wilder, bolder and more tech driven businesses that will really disrupt the market.

Wearable and fitness tech

Something that we have said is coming for a long time is the development of wearable fitness tech. So far, wearable tech has been fairly simple – such as an activity tracker like Fitbit – or too complex to be in anything more than in beta testing. But developments over the last couple of years especially has meant that a bigger rollout of more sophisticated wearable teach will be available to the mass market very soon, and if not in 2019, not long after.

Simple wearable tech is still popular though, and the trend will be to make that tech even more simple, less intrusive, and more a part of our bodies. For example, Motiv is releasing its fitness ring in the UK. This is smaller and easier to wear than the sometimes clumsy, clunky watches and heart rate monitors. You could almost forget you are wearing it. Could the next step be under-skin microchips?

motiv wearable fitness rings©

Safety tech is also making strides. We have talked before about drones being used to facilitate water rescues. While drones have not completely replaced lifeguards to a large extent, it will almost be certain, particularly for beach lifeguards to not only have first aid and rescue skills but also be adept at using drone technology. It’s a good job us leisure professionals are not afraid to acquire new skills!

Have a look at this drone in action

But could the big trend in 2019 be thanks to open data? With better sharing of data between health and fitness providers, more opportunities are opened up for people to meet their fitness goals using a variety of leisure providers. Whether this is through the provision of an app which helps customers find fitness classes to suit them, or through the sharing of very specific health data to tailor fitness programmes, open data is a step in the right direction.

How about using the ultimate personal data – your DNA – to tailor your health plan to your exacting physical needs? Sounds creepy, but it’s happening!

Fitness moves to the high street

Retail has clearly suffered from the threat of the collapse of major brands and closures of stores and where retail is moving out, leisure is moving in. It’s been the case for some time in many towns and cities that where the high street has been in decline for retailers, the coffee shops and restaurants have moved in. Blamed on more people shopping online, larger retail brands are having to reinvent themselves and embrace experiential shopping and more place-based activities.

More retailers, particularly larger department stores with huge floor spaces to make use of, are partnering with fitness providers and opening their space up for consumers who want more from a place than simply to buy more stuff. This autumn saw Debenhams opening an in-store gym in their Sutton branch, and 2019 will see the same in their Manchester and Bristol stores.

Be prepared to see more high street names becoming more diverse over the next few years.

In fact, mixed-use facilities are going to be a more common sight away from the traditional high street too. Wherever there is good accessibility, expect to see new spaces and places which house complementary activities, such as this new leisure centre in Exeter city centre. And yes, it’s likely that any new buildings will be put up with consideration for energy efficiency. After all, energy isn’t expected to get any cheaper!

Leisure trends 2019

Photo by juan pablo rodriguez on Unsplash

More inclusive leisure activities

In the past, health campaigns have concentrated on under-represented groups such as women. Do you remember the This Girl Can campaign? Now, the focus is turning to other groups such as disabled people and to different age groups such as the over 55s.

More funding is going to be given to sports which encourage inclusivity. If your fitness business has not really embraced disabled leisure activities yet 2019 could be a good time to start!

Younger consumers are not being left out though and there is a real drive for getting people of all ages to form an exercise habit. More and more facilities are catering to a family audience, such as Cloud Twelve.

Check out this hotel and spa in Nottinghamshire who are really going for the youth market.

(c) Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa

© Ye Olde Bell Hotel and Spa

Engaging with children earlier is a key tool in the fight against obesity not only in childhood but in adulthood too. Expect more campaigns and health and fitness education in schools across the UK.

More diversity in leisure provision

Interestingly, the ambition for creating industry-changing offerings has been reflected in the entertainments sector where the emphasis on an exciting visitor experience is being prioritised over large nightclub venues. This year we’ve seen darts, golf, table tennis and video gaming appearing regularly in our news feeds and we expect that to continue into 2019. How wacky, can they get? Only time will tell.

Health food trends

And what about health foods? Well, there is certainly increased awareness of the harm that can be done by some foods and changing legislation, such as the ‘sugar tax’ has made us think more about making more sensible choices. 2019 will be no exception. Expect more of the same.

Here are some ideas as to what could be big in healthy eating in the US very soon and making their way over the pond to the UK.

….And finally, what about Brexit?

Spa and Beauty has had a tumultuous year. Some extravagant new spas have been announced but the industry has been hit heavily by the lack of qualified staff available. As per our prediction last year, the looming shadow of Brexit seems to be deterring European workers from making the trip to the UK. As a knock-on effect, salaries are continuing to rise as businesses compete for staff.

If you want help navigating the waters of the leisure industry in 2019, get in touch!

Will more cycling jobs be coming to the UK?

Here at 4 Leisure Recruitment, we are fully expecting to see a rise in cycling jobs in the UK. Whether the rise in the popularity of cycling is down to another British Tour de France winner or a result of austerity and greater concern for the environment, we see the potential for more people cycling to create more jobs in cycling.

cycling jobs

Cycling Jobs

Leaving aside the people taking advantage of extra work in the gig economy as cycle couriers and delivery drivers, the leisure industry will be our main focus of cycling jobs. These jobs could include cycling for fitness coaches, cycling scheme co-ordinators, and cycling proficiency instructors. All are vital in developing cycling both as a leisure activity and a sustainable and cost-effective method of transport.

The rise of cycling

While there is a long way to go to catch up with the levels of cycling right after World War II, cycling both as a leisure activity and a mode of transport has been steadily rising over the last few years. Particularly in large cities like London where schemes such as the ‘Boris bikes’ and a huge spend on cycling provision including the cycle superhighways, cycling has experienced huge increases, almost quadrupling in twenty years. There are also large levels of cycling in student-heavy urban areas such as Oxford, Cambridge, and Edinburgh.

Compared to most other EU countries, the UK has fairly low levels of cycling. Holland, for example, has 43% of people who cycle daily – in the UK this figure is 4%. But this figure is growing and the success of Team GB in international road and track cycling events certainly hasn’t been hindered by the relative lack of cycling commuters.

To see more facts and figures about cycling in the UK, please see Cycling UK’s Cycling Statistics

UK cycling jobs

Why cycling?

Cycling as a leisure activity is relatively cheap – once you’ve bought the bike and other essential equipment, it doesn’t cost anything to use public roads. It’s a fantastic way of helping with Cardiovascular endurance, muscle development, and overall stamina. It’s lower impact than running, and can be a lot more interesting! You can certainly get further in your exercise time and see more.

Cycling as a sustainable method of transport is cheaper than running a car and better for the environment. You can also get places you couldn’t get in a car, such as dedicated cycling lanes, or free parking within a reasonable distance of your workplace. There are issues when it comes to taking passengers or being able to do much more than a small bag of shopping on the way home, but in a big city like London which has high traffic levels, dedicated cycling provision, and high parking charges, taking a cycle can make sense more often than not.

Cycle schemes such as the successful ‘Boris bikes’ in London are now spreading. There are cycle hire schemes in many major UK cities, making cycle ownership less of a necessity, which is fantastic for those who don’t have much in the way of cycle storage provision at home or in their workplace.

With increasing petrol prices, greater concern for the environment, and the emphasis on cycling for better health, cycling jobs are sure to grow for the foreseeable future.


Current jobs in cycling:-

 Here are some of the cycling jobs we have in at the moment (updated July 2018)

 Marketing Manager  – Edinburgh Cycle Hire Scheme

An exciting opportunity has arisen to join a leading leisure brand with a new cycle hire scheme to be launched in Edinburgh.,-city-of/health-fitness/senior-appointments/marketing-manager-edinburgh/3048/

Client in Focus: The Massage Company

The Massage Company jobs

4 Leisure Recruitment has been working with The Massage Company since before their launch in 2016. We have helped with recruiting the professional staff that The Massage Company need to fulfil their aim of helping more people to realise the benefits of massage. By changing people’s beliefs that massage should only be done as and when it is needed, they aim to improve their customers’ wellbeing through regular, routine treatments.

The Massage Company are bringing massage to the mainstream. From their location in Camberley, Surrey, their aim is to grow across the UK and open more and more branches, making their monthly subscription model available to more people.

Who are The Massage Company?

The Massage Company was started by Charlie Thompson and Elliot Walker back in 2016. Both have a solid background in the spa and leisure industry – Thompson’s previous roles include a stint as the head of Virgin Active’s 80 spas, while Walker previously launched, built and ran Murad Cosmetics. Both are committed to providing a professional and accessible massage service. The quality of staff is paramount – they have even developed their own certified training programme for their staff.

Their flagship location in Camberley is in a prime location, a stone’s throw from the train station. You can have a look around with Charlie Thompson on their 360 video

The Massage Company won the award for Best New Business of the Year 2016 in the Collectively Camberley Business Awards – see more at

Work at The Massage Company

Jobs at The Massage Company

Want to work at The Massage Company? If you’d like to have an informal, no-obligation discussion in confidence, please do get in touch with us at 4 Leisure Recruitment – it’s or call us on 01895 450640

>> Check out all the current jobs we have at The Massage Company <<

Check out all jobs in Spa and Beauty

Check out all our jobs in Health and Fitness 

Leisure Industry: Predictions for 2018

Leisure industry trends 2018 Part 2 (1)

As the door closes on 2017, another one opens on 2018. A fresh new year can bring new challenges, and also new opportunities.

We spoke to 4 Leisure Recruitment MD Jean Wing Hing to see what he thinks is going to be the big news in the UK leisure industry in 2018.

What do you think is going to be the damp squib of 2018?

Jean: We are starting to get wind of more and more trampoline parks shutting down. Word on the street is that prices can’t get any more competitive and there’s not enough room for everyone. As operators struggle to diversify their offering, we’re predicting much flatter growth for this sector in the coming months.

What developments in the gym sector?

Jean: The health and fitness industry has seen an explosion of so-called boutique health clubs over the last couple of years. These are typically smaller clubs with quite distinct identities that cater for the discerning gym goer who shies away from the big commercial gyms chains. They were seen as quirky, trendy retreats that only those in the know were members of. But the boutique chains have aggressively been rolling out sites and, together with them being ideally sized for franchisees to pick up, the boutique market has become somewhat mainstream, dare we say.

So what’s next? Specialist seems to be the new boutique. Not only does a gym brand have to be cool, individual and all of the above, but it now has to deliver a specialized service. They provide products that are slick and well-packaged yet still appeal to the masses. Have a look at 9Round and Barry’s Bootcamp as great examples of brands doing things in a new way.

What’s happening in the world of wearable tech, a topic we’ve been talking about for years?

Jean: One of the biggest trends we’re seeing at the moment is gym companies really embracing the tech available on the market and looking to integrate with personal devices. Soon it’s not unfeasible that we will we all be connected to our personal trainers 24/7. Whether that happens in 2018 is unlikely, but it’s coming.

What about the spa sector?

Jean: There have been many developments in the spa sector this last couple of years and I think that mindfulness will be the hot topic in 2018. With the trends moving from beauty treatments to wellness treatments recently, the next step is offer treatments which are more holistic and incorporate mental health as well as physical health and wellness. Industry leaders are already starting to develop an offering which is more in the mindfulness sphere than ever before.

Thanks, Jean. We will look out for these in the leisure industry in 2018.

To see a review of our 2017 and what 2018 may have in store for us here at 4 Leisure Recruitment, have a look at our last blog post.

Batten down the hatches – the new year is coming!

New year leisure recruitment

We are fast approaching the end of this year and the beginning of the next. With that in mind in the world of leisure recruitment, our minds turn from staffing luxury fragrance counters for the madness of the festive period to preparing for the stampede of new members in gyms and fitness centres across the UK.

While shops and restaurants are taking a well-earned breather in the month after Christmas, gyms and health and fitness providers see a massive upturn in business. Starting new year’s resolutions and fighting to work off the thousands of extra calories consumed over the Christmas period sees an increased demand for health and fitness services. In the leisure industry, we call it ‘the Golden Quarter’, and as leisure professionals, we have witnessed it ourselves, year after year.

With rises in total membership and reports of the growth of the industry, fitness operators nationwide are bracing themselves. Temporary skilled recruits are vital at this time of year. Whether it be membership sales consultants or temporary personal trainers to help with the influx, here at 4 Leisure we have an experienced team on hand to fill those gaps.

Looking for a new leisure job?

Likewise, if one of your resolutions is to get a new leisure job then now would be a good time to try out a new role on a temporary basis. Temporary work not only gives the chance for a trial for both the employer and the employee, but it can give vital training and experience for those who are trying to break into the industry. Or it could simply be a good way of getting a few more paid hours in while you can.

Do you need extra staff for your leisure business?

If you are a leisure business and are currently planning for January then get in touch we have a dedicated team who can tailor a recruitment package specific to your needs.

Here are some of the challenges involved in managing members of your health club.

Research from Mintel has shown that spending on fitness remains strong, despite a credible threat from fitness technology. Member retention can be an issue, however, with some members citing unfriendly staff as a problem. It is imperative that the staff you hire are aware of the impact that they can personally have on your gym’s success.

Read this article for more information –

Intervention into gym membership deals by the CMA has made it harder for gym operators to lock clients into long-term contracts. This is a good thing for the client and makes gym membership an easier option, however, it does mean that gym brands can no longer rely on long-term commitment from clients and it will be necessary to find other ways to keep clients happy and paying for longer.

The idea that you can take advantage of someone’s good intentions in the new year and keep them paying for two years or longer has all but disappeared, and gyms are now having to work harder at client retention. The result should be happier clients whose needs are being met continuously and not just until they sign the membership contract.

That doesn’t mean that people will not be looking to join a gym after Christmas. However the government intervene in membership business models, people are still human and will be making all the right intentions to change their behaviour and health habits throughout January and into February.

If you need staff to plug a few holes and get those paying customers on board and happy for as long as possible, get in touch with our temporary division now.

temp gym recruitment

Photo by Martin Barák on Unsplash

Why would you want to be a Lifeguard?

There may be many good reasons to be a lifeguard. Thanks to the role of lifeguards Zac Efron, The Rock and co, being a lifeguard is officially cool again. But there’s more to it than running down the beach, saying hi to sun-kissed patrons.

The movie, for all its cheesiness, could actually make a few more people think that training to be a lifeguard would be an awesome thing to do. Do you know what – it actually is!

maxresdefault from the baywatch movie

© The Baywatch Movie

© The Baywatch Movie

Training to be a lifeguard is a great idea for many reasons.  Here are just some of the things we think make being a lifeguard a brilliant idea.

Being a lifeguard saves lives.

It really is that simple. Learning the skills that equip you to save someone’s life is just incredible. The great thing is that those skills stay with you forever. Whatever you go on to do later in life, you will always have the skills that essentially make you a lifesaver.

It keeps you fit!

All the training and swimming suits you if you love to be fit, healthy and active. Being a lifeguard helps others to do the same, and a lifeguard is always a role model of the pool area.

It looks great on a CV

Being a lifeguard could be your first step on the ladder of a lifelong career in the fitness industry – it is a great place to start. The skills you learn stay with you for a long time. You will get a fantastic insight into the frontline and backroom operations of a public-facing leisure service, dealing with all the highs and lows that being an active part of a leisure team entails.

When you’re looking to move up in your leisure career, then your stint as a lifeguard will be sure to give you some great stories to share in a job interview. Being a lifeguard is always going to be a great ice-breaker whether it’s in a job interview, or on a first date – once you have trained and worked as a lifeguard people will always want to hear about it!

Lifeguard jobs uk

It has a lot of kudos

Who wants to work in a call centre, or flip burgers as a summer job, when you can wow everyone with your tales of heroism as a lifeguard? Even if you’re lucky enough not to have needed to use your lifesaving skills all season, it still sounds pretty awesome, and you get to hang out at a place of fun all summer, rather than being cooped up in a kitchen or an office.

You may not have to use your saving skills daily, but there are other things you will do which will be appreciated by others, whether it’s to help a less-mobile person in and out of the pool, or stopping an excited child from running and smashing their head open (spoilsport!). Check out the hashtag #EverydayHero from the RLSS to find some fantastic examples. Not all heroes wear capes.

Friends for life

Lifeguarding is a team effort, and the ties you make with like-minded people right now could be the key to your future success. Your new found BFF might go on to be a hiring manager at a swanky leisure company, and they may remember the time you both spent together checking PH levels and dishing out pool noodles at that local authority leisure centre when they need to hire their next leisure exec.

Lifeguards are friends for life

Want to be a lifeguard?

There is lots of up-to-date information about exactly what the NPLQ course entails and how to renew your lifeguard qualification here

It’s true that not everyone wants to train to be a lifeguard, but if you do – it is because you are special and we think you will make a very special lifeguard too. If you want more information about lifeguard training and vacancies near to where you are then please get in touch. Our lifeguard recruitment team can help with all aspects of careers in the leisure industry. We like lifeguards so much we have a complete division dedicated to it!

Learn more about our lifeguard recruitment team at

Our current lifeguard jobs are…….

Lifeguards in North London – Outdoor Lido – Temp – £8.27 – £8.78 per hour

Duty Manager – with pool duties – Essex – £17k – £19k

Lifeguard/Duty Manager – Hampshire – Temp – £8.27 – £9.00 per hour

Lifeguard/Recreation Assistant in various locations around Oxfordshire – Perm – £13k – £17k

Lifeguards needed for temp work in the following locations……

Barnet, Brighton, Bedford, SW London, North London, Bournemouth

Please get in touch with our lifeguard recruitment team for these roles


The leisure industry in 2017

As we take a quick look back over the leisure industry in 2016 there has been some huge changes from where we started the year to where it is ending. Thank you to all of those people who have been involved this last twelve months – we very much look forward to spending 2017 with you too!

Leisure trends in 2016 and for 2017

The UK leisure recruitment industry

At 4Leisure Recruitment, we have seen our team grow and are excited about the recruitment industry for 2017. Despite the pinch that the living wage is bringing to many employers, the leisure sector is showing great growth and strength.  It is impossible to ignore the political changes that have taken place in 2016 so it has to be acknowledged that effects on the leisure industry have been felt as part of the global shift in politics.

However, the UK leisure industry seems to have benefited from a lift in the number of people using the services available. The spa industry particularly has seen a boost as people seem to be pampering themselves at home instead of booking holidays abroad. We seem as a nation to be spending more time and money on ourselves which is great for the industry and leisure recruiters alike!

gym industry trends

Record gym membership

In May it was announced that gym and health club memberships had reached a record high. Awareness about personal health, fitness and wellness seems to be ever increasing. At government level plans are a-foot to merge the need to improve the general health of the population as a whole and tapping into the resources of local leisure centres and trying to capture inactive groups which can only lead to more leisure jobs, more gyms and more pools!

uk swimming trends

A dive in the popularity of swimming

However, swimming has seen a dip in the number of folks doing it on a regular basis, with reports that regular swimming participation has seen a drop of around 24%

But it may be that the reasons behind this include the very fact that there are so many other activities on offer that people are not exercising less in the pool, but more everywhere. 2016 has seen 564 new publicly accessible pools open.

We also have not experienced a drop in demand for qualified lifeguards, so it remains to be seen if swimming participation will have a major long-term impact on the leisure industry as a whole.

trends in fitness tech

Leisure tech

One trend we can’t ignore from 2016 is that of ever advancing technology. David Lloyd Leisure has had a major virtual fitness rollout and we predict 2017 will see much more of the same. There is no escaping the explosion of tech in the leisure sector, so don’t try to escape it. If you were one of the millions of users of Pokemon Go earlier this year then you certainly embraced the cultural shift to blending tech and exercise. We predict much more of the same next year and eagerly await the next big release.

Olympics and Paralympics 2016

Major events

2016 has seen the leisure sector grow at a faster rate than retail, possibly helped along by some huge events in the sporting world, including the Olympics and the Paralympics. A truly spectacular event with some brilliant performances both by teams and individuals. In case you missed our earlier blog post about some other sporting events you really don’t want to miss, take a look at where you need to go if you are looking for something to start a training schedule for in the new year.

We very much look forward to seeing the rise of skateboarding next year too as one of the newest additions to the Olympic line up. It will be good to see new facilities and enthusiasts finding a wider platform.

Beauty retail staff

High demand for beauty and spa

2016 has seen us experience high demand for passionate beauty retail staff. It seems that more of us are willing to pay for good quality beauty products and we have been providing retail staff to help customers looking for advice on what to purchase.

The spa industry in general is taking advantage of the demand for beauty products and treatments – in November, Pure Gym launched a membership-style salon concept. We look forward to seeing this roll out further in 2017.

The rise of trampoline parks

Bouncing onward?

Trampoline venues have had a huge rise in popularity in the last 18 months. They seem to be popping up all over the place but the market is already becoming very aggressive with some already starting to close. 2017 is likely to see these businesses striving for diversification in the battle to compete. Some of our clients are already introducing facilities such as climbing walls, laser tag and “ninja warrior” style courses. As they evolve, these will provide more credible venues for the corporate market. There are plenty of businesses now focused keenly on the corporate event market and the ability to provide a full entertainments package with much more comprehensive catering options may be the difference between those that survive and those that don’t.

What else do we envisage 2017 bringing for us – well after some of the events of this year I think it is safe to say next year will be a complete adventure- one we look forward to taking with you.

Some of Our Clients