Recent hospitalisation of 25-year old, Gold Coast resident Shanteece Smith, following a personal training session, sparked in interest in research on legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.
Following her training session, Ms Smith suffered rhabdomyolysis, a condition which causes the body’s muscles to break down and release muscle fibre into the body’s bloodstream.
ABC Gold Coast’s Nicole Dyer recently interviewed Professor Patrick Keyzer, Director of the Institute for Law, Government and Policy and Lead Investigator of the team’s national research study. Nicole asked what concerns Professor Keyzer has about the way the fitness industry operates.
In the interview Professor Keyzer explains that generally speaking trainers are very sensible in what they do and take care of their clients. However, Professor Keyzer says there are issues to address like the competency of fitness professionals, making sure fitness professionals are properly trained and stay within their scope of practice and don’t offer advice beyond their training. Ensuring they engage their clients in pre exercise-screening is important.
He continues to explain that fitness professionals who have undergone training and have registered with Fitness Australia are given training support and access to additional resources. He says it is important when people seek out fitness training that they establish what the credentials of the trainers are and find out if they are registered with an organisation like Fitness Australia.
Professor Keyzer elaborates that it is important that fitness professionals are aware of their risk management obligations and legal obligations to their clients. He says it is important that fitness professionals are well educated and properly resourced so they don’t push their clients too hard.
Professor Keyzer’s research is undertaken in conjunction with Federation University, the University of South Australia, and Central Queensland University. It is funded by an Australian Research Council Linkage Grant, Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia and will result in new industry standards for managing and minimising risks in the fitness industry.
To listen to the interview click the ‘play button’ below: