ABC Radio Interview: Fitness Industry Research Shows Surprising Results

February 17, 2014

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.

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Project to Reduce Risk in Fitness Facilities Unveiled

May 23, 2013

Researchers from the University of Ballarat’s Centre for Healthy and Safe Sport (CHASS) are collaborating on a project led by Professor Patrick Keyzer into improving risk management in fitness facilities.

The study is funded by an ARC Linkage project with industry partners Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia.

Professor Patrick Keyzer, from the Bond University’s Law Faculty, who is heading the research project, said the project would have major implications for the future of the fitness industry and its risk management practices nationally.

Professor Finch of CHASS said: “We want to give the fitness industry the best advice about how to reduce both legal risks for its businesses and injury risks for those who use fitness facilities for their physical activity.

“Before we can do this we need to know what the current views and practices are of people employed in the fitness industry,” Professor Finch said.

“For this reason, we are conducting a nationwide survey to hear from as many fitness industry employees as possible about the issues they face.”

The survey is available on line at until  21 June.

“It is particularly important that the survey includes the views of people from regional cities, not just the capital cities,” Professor Finch said.

“The Ballarat region is a hub of fitness activities and we want to ensure that we can continue to achieve public health goals of ensuing more people are more active, more often through remaining injury free.

“For this reason, we would like to encourage as many people as possible from our region to complete the survey and have their say.”

[* Note: This entry was first posted to the University of Ballarat’s News page, ]

New Reports Offer Insight Into Legal Risk Management In The Fitness Industry

April 30, 2013

The Institute’s recent conference in Sydney not only marked the AFIRM’s inaugural forum to discuss legal risk management in the fitness industry.  Additionally, the aptly named conference, ‘Is Your Fitness Business At Risk?’ also saw the launch of two reports tailored for the Australian Fitness industry.

Offering up-to-the-minute, industry-relevant information, the reports offer fitness industry professionals an insight into liability for workplace health and safety in the Australian fitness industry, and planning and buiding regulations affecting fitness businesses.  The reports are the second set of key deliverables as part of the AFIRM team’s ARC linkage grant: Legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.

To view the reports click the links below:

Author:   Joel Butler

Liability for Workplace Health and Safety in the Australian Fitness Industry

Authors:  Rebecca Richardson and Jacqui Salter

Planning and Building Regulation for Fitness Businesses

Conference: Is Your Fitness Business At Risk?

January 16, 2013

Sydney, 20 April 2013                                                                  

AFIRM LogoThe Australian fitness industry has a critical role to play in supporting and facilitating active and healthy lifestyles for Australians.  However, while regular physical activity can prevent obesity and reduce the risk of inactivity-related diseases, overly vigorous exercise can trigger adverse health events.  Additionally, some programs offered by fitness providers can increase the risk of injury and this risk is heightened where there are inadequate risk management practices.  This can expose fitness facilities and staff to legal liability which can be very expensive. 

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Legal Risk Management In The Fitness Industry – Reports

October 16, 2012

Authors: Professor Joachim Dietrich and Adjunct Tutor Jade Pascoe

In September 2012 AFIRM team members delivered a series of reports to Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, providing fitness industry professionals with an insight into the current regulations that drive risk management in the fitness industry.  The reports are the first set of key deliverables as part of the AFIRM team’s ARC linkage grant: Legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry.

To view the reports click on the links below:

·         Liability arising from contract and under the Australian consumer law

·         Liability for negligence in the Australian fitness industry

·         Limiting or excluding liability in the Australian fitness industry

False Carbon Tax Claim Sees Fitness Club Pay ACCC’s First Infringement Fine

September 22, 2012

GFC Berwick, trading as Genesis Fitness Club, has paid an infringement notice in the amount of $6,600 to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) after a letter promoting a ‘rate freeze’ was sent to over 2000 members in April 2012.

The letter offered members a range of contract extensions at current or reduced membership rates and outlined that by taking up the offer, members could avoid a fee increase of nine to fifteen per cent due to the carbon price.

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