Our readers respond.
MAKING A SPLASH
I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoyed [Managing Editor Renee Cocchi's] article “A Splash of Rehab” [December 2000]. I have worked as a water therapist for a number of years now….
The article was very well written and quite accurate. I am finding an ever increasing need for therapuetic outlets for patients with limited mobility and water is the ticket! Thanks for [publishing] a good article!
Marilee S. Niehoff, Ph.D.
The Editor responds:
Glad you liked it. Proponents of pool-based rehab should also check out the article on aquatic programming that just appeared in our March issue. If you don't have a copy of March, you can find the article at www.clubindustry.com.
I liked the article on member etiquette [February 2001]. In fact, about a month ago, I wrote to [Managing Editor] Renee Cocchi, suggesting a similar article. She responded that it was on the way. Unfortunately, the behavior that motivated me to write to Renee in the first place wasn't included in your article or your list of suggested policies.
Here's what I notice: Every January, when what I call the “January effect” occurs (lots of neophytes eager to live up to their New Year's resolutions), those of us who have worked out in gyms and clubs all over the world are confronted by people who have never heard the question “Can I work in?” and have no clue what it means.
My partners and I get SOOOOO sick of having to explain to some middle-aged or elderly (almost always — usually young people are more clued in, maybe because they lift weights more in college and high school these days) person that you don't sit on a machine while you either do 100 repetitions with 5 pounds (pointless — a good subject for another article) or rest between your sets.
Unfortunately, sometimes “hovering” is the only way you get these clueless people to get the point. I'm sorry, but if you want exclusive possession of machines, you're going to have to pay more than a few hundred dollars a year….
Teri O'Brien Fitness Systems Inc.
The Editor responds:
The article did mention that clubs should discourage equipment hogs. Hovering may teach “neophytes” not to park themselves on equipment, but I'd much rather see them get an education in gym etiquette from club staff. (And if someone is lifting 5 pounds for 100 reps, I would hope one of the club's fitness professionals would correct him.)
AEDS IN HEALTH CLUBS
Your article on AEDs in health clubs in the February 2001 issue was well written. [I]n business, decisions have positive and negative aspects, and your article did an excellent job of showing both sides of the AED issue.
I believe that, eventually, AEDs will be standard in most public buildings. For now, I think that health clubs need to weigh the pros and cons in relationship to each facility. Management should look at the expected response time for EMS to arrive with an AED. If the facility is in a remote location; in a busy, congested area that may delay response; or in an area that is not easily accessed, they should seriously consider investing in an AED and the proper training for its use.
As a certification specialist and trainer for AFAA, I travel to many fitness centers. From what I've seen at many of these places, whether or not they have an AED is the least of my concerns. Many clubs require CPR certification for their staff, but they have no emergency response protocols in place…. [F]acilities that cannot manage basic CPR and first-response procedures are not likely to do better with an AED.
We have an AED in place in our corporate site. After watching someone die of a heart attack right here in the office, I consider it a good investment. We review our skills and do emergency response drills on a quarterly basis. As Ms. Stoike pointed out in your article, better to have the training and equipment and not need it, than to need it and not have it.
The WESTfit Center
The Editor responds:
You're right. An AED should not be a replacement for a safety plan; an AED should be part of a comprehensive safety plan. Thanks for writing.