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Friday, March 18, 2011

Gyms don’t get it about older people

Gyms are fascinating places to observe human behavior. Most of the instructors are under 30 – I can only think of one who is older. Lots and lots of the users and potential customers are in their 60s and older.

In general the instructors are not bad at relating to older people but I reckon I could improve their effectiveness by at least 25% if I had a few hours with them. The gym is where I go to relax and I don’t intend to mix business and pleasure.

This article from the US is good since it relates some of the issues that arise when you have older and younger people wanting different things and both thinking they are entitled to get their own way.

Personally, I think it might overstate the case since one of the upsides of a gym is the mixture of generations. I am not that keen on the music that is played but it is easy enough to use my iPod.

Also, there are lots of the younger gym members who have succumbed to too many Big Macs – it is certainly not the case that young = fit.

I think the bottom line is that gyms don’t have to do that much to make themselves more age-neutral. The last thing I would want is an oldies only gym. Dick Stroud

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