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ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie to chair IHRSA world exercise event in San Diego

ExerciseNZ’s Richard Beddie to chair IHRSA world exercise event in San Diego
March 17, 2023

Richard Beddie, Chief Executive of ExerciseNZ, will chair a meeting of the International Health, Racquet and Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) at their 2023 Convention in the USA city of San Diego next week, at which he will highlight New Zealand’s challenges in becoming a more active nation.

Beddie, who is an IHRSA Board Director as well as being Vice Chair of the World Activity Forum, says the event involving 60 countries and 400 delegates will bring hear how countries such as New Zealand are committed to encouraging inactive people to become more active. But it has to involve government, employers, whanau and individuals.

Beddie (pictured above) notes “the missing piece is recognition by the New Zealand Government that we are part of the health-continuum.

“Successive governments have shown their inability to have exercise integrated into health delivery. This is despite the fact that over and over, exercise is shown to not only be an effective intervention for treatment but the most cost effective preventative measure to extend life and reduce the health bill.

“We appeal to the New Zealand government to engage with us and work with us on this.”

Beddie points out that the first ever World Health Organization (WHO) report on global physically inactivity found that New Zealand has an unacceptably level of physical inactivity.

The report says 95% of New Zealand girls 11 to 17 are physically inactive compared to 85% of boys the same age. For those 18 and over, 45% of women are inactive and 39% of men don’t exercise enough while, among New Zealanders aged 70 and over, 62% of women and 55% of do not exercise enough.

Highlighting that New Zealand is one of the worst countries in the world for being energetic and exercising, with 48% of adult New Zealanders not hitting global activity targets, Beddie adds “it’s much worse among Kiwi children and teenagers an alarming percentage of them are not active enough. The global average is 21% for adults and 81% for kids and adolescents.

“Lost production caused by physical inactivity costs the New Zealand economy $2.3 billion a year, according to a Deloitte report this year. New Zealand is often seen as a sports-mad country but Aotearoa is becoming a nation of inactive people.”

Beddie will be chairing the IHRSA Global Federation meeting to discuss major health issues and opportunities to get more people active.

He also advised “I am also on a key panel on a panel to look at how they can collaborate globally and advocate locally. We will be discussing what other areas of global collaboration can take place, such as the Deloittes global report recommended on the cost of physical inactivity in 2022.”

After San Diego, Beddie will head to an international fitness conference in Cologne next month where the World Activity Forum will be formally constituted.

Christchurch-based Beddie is and Chief of staff to the International Confederation of Registers for Exercise Professionals (ICREPs).

With a mission to grow, protect and promote the health and fitness industry, and to provide its members with benefits that will help them be more successful, IHRSA is the trade association serving the global health club and fitness industry.

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