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1st European Health & Fitness Forum: The future development of the fitness industry

1st European Health & Fitness Forum
2 April 2014, 9.30 a.m. - 10.30 p.m
Congress Center Nord, Exhibition Centre Cologne & KölnSKY Tower

How fit and healthy will Europe be in the year 2025? How can exercise be encouraged in a specific manner? And what, in this context, will be the role of new technologies and offers in the fitness industry, but also of initiatives from the health system and policymakers? With the motto “Europe active 2025”, the 1st European Health & Fitness Forum as the opening event of FIBO 2014 risks a look into the future.

EHFF LogoOne of the items on the agenda is the presentation of the “Plan for Growth / Europe Active 2025” study which describes demographic, health-related and economic trends in Europe and looks at the role of fitness for the population. The aim is raising the number of studio members from the present level of approximately 44 million to 80 million in 2025.

The organisers of the 1st European Health & Fitness Forum to be held in Cologne on 2 April 2014 are FIBO, the Leading International Trade Show for Fitness, Wellness and Health, and EHFA, the European Health & Fitness Association. It will be a unique event bringing together a wide range of stakeholders from all parts of Europe on the eve of FIBO 2014. The one-day discussion forum will be followed by a joint dinner in an unusual location high above the rooftops of Cologne.

Opinions from researchers and practitioners: the programme

Large-scale scientific studies will be presented to the industry during the congress. In addition to the “Plan for Growth / Europe Active 2025” the essential findings of the new EHFA / Deloitte Study on the European Fitness Market 2014 will be presented. Another subject of discussion will be the results of a practical study conducted in the United Kingdom with 2,600 participants, entitled “The scientific proof that exercise works in practice”.

Further topics at the congress will be the positive economic effects of regular physical activity. Special attention will be given to the issues of fitness training for the 50-plus age group as well as for overweight and adipose children and adolescents. In this context the question of how technology can help inactive persons to become physically more active will also be looked at.

Other lectures present external views of the fitness sector: from the perspective of the European Union, a health insurance company as well as current and potential investors.

Prevention and motivation: the objectives of the congress

In line with its motto “Europe active 2025”, the 1st European Health & Fitness Forum spells out ways to motivate more people to exercise more. The focus is on future scenarios in the fitness and health segments as well as on outlining possibilities for the prevention of widespread diseases through supporting sports activities. The discussion will centre on the question of how the European fitness sector can contribute to solving the immense health problems resulting from a lack of exercise. At this point, diseases resulting from lack of exercise are already considered the fourth important cause of premature death. This is why even more Europeans should be encouraged to take up some sports activity. The desired objective is growing the number of health centre and studio members from currently 44 million to 80 million by 2025.

European players as guests in Cologne

The congress is designed to be a summit meeting of the European fitness sector, with the participation of policymakers, health experts, insurance companies and associations. Industry key players attending will include Technogym, Precor, Life Fitness, Matrix Johnson und Healthcity / Bassic Fit, as well as representatives of associations or universities such as the Amsterdam University Medical Centre and the German Sport University Cologne.

Key note speakers who have confirmed their participation to date are:

  •  Professor Dr Willem van Mechelen, Amsterdam University Medical Centre
  •  Professor Dr Christoph Breuer, Institute of Sport Economics and Sport Management, Sport University Cologne
  •  Nerio Alessandri, President and Founder Technogym
  •  Reynir Indahl, Partner, Altor Equity Partners and Chairman, Elixia.

And these leaders have confirmed their participation in a roundtable discussion on the future of the sector:

  • Rob Barker – President Precor
  • Chris Clawson – President Life Fitness
  • Daniel Clayton – Vice President Matrix Johnson
  • Art Hicks – President / CEO Cybex International
  • Rene Moos- CEO Healthcity / Bassic Fit
  • Olav Thorstad – CEO Health & Fitness Nordic
  • Stefan Tilk, CEO Fitness First Germany and India

The participation fee:

EHFA Members: 232 € (incl. 19% VAT)

Non Members: 292 € (incl. 19% VAT)

The fee includes lunch, networking reception and dinner, as well as a 2-day ticket (Thursday and Friday) to the FIBO show.

All participants get a free copy of the book “Europe Active 2025” produced with a summary of the facts, findings and recommendations to get 80,000,000 people, more active, more often in our health & fitness centres.

The presentations will be held in English with simultaneous German translation.

More information at and

Comments by leading industry representatives on the European Health & Fitness Forum:

David Stalker, CEO Ukactive

"FIBO has become an increasingly important event for the UK fitness industry. Ukactive, one of the leading European associations, will once again be leading a delegation to the show in April 2014 and we look forward to being involved in the various activities being run, including the new European Health & Fitness Forum where various stakeholders will debate the important “Europe Active 2025” agenda."

Olav Thorstad, CEO Health and Fitness Nordic

“We are at a crossroads in our industry right now and it is great news that this Forum with many different stakeholders will be taking place; it has the full support from Health & Fitness Nordic and I look forward to meet my colleagues on April 2nd, 2014 in Cologne!”

Tjeerd de Jong, Chairman Fit!vak

“Growing the sector with a holistic approach is key to achieve the long term objective for getting „more people - more active - more often” in Europe or as we call it “Fitness 2.0”. Fit!vak – the Dutch Association – fully supports this important initiative!”

Rene Moos, CEO / founder of Healthcity / Basic Fit

“We applaud the initiative by EHFA and FIBO for this Forum that will explore ways to grow the sector. I will be present and be happy to participate in the debate.”





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