Fitness centres play an important role in the physical and mental wellbeing of its members.
This will be even more evident as we emerge from lockdown and members flock back to the gym to regain their former fitness.
Yet, while gyms provide great equipment and professional advice, they also need to mitigate the risk of their members injuring themselves or suffering an adverse medical event.
This is especially true when it comes to Australia’s number one killer – people dying from sudden cardiac arrest (SAC).
SEE WHAT HAPPENED at Anytime Fitness Noosa – this could be your gym!
The stats are sobering:
- Research shows 75% of Australian adults exhibit multiple heart attack risk factors
- Over 30,000 Australians suffer a SAC each year
- The survival rate is less than 6%
- For each minute that passes without an intervention, the chance of survival is reduced by 10%
- A defibrillator onsite dramatically improves the chance of survival to over 65%!
According to Australian Bureau of Statistics 2018 (Causes of Death 2017, ABS cat. no. 3303.0, September),
‘Heart disease is Australia’s leading single cause of death, with 18,590 deaths attributed to heart disease in Australia in 2017. Heart disease kills one Australian every 28 minutes.’
Gyms are high-risk environments for SCA as the risk of life-threatening arrhythmia increases during intense activities.
Is your gym prepared?
Purchasing a defibrillator has never been easier as the technology has greatly improved, and prices have pleasingly dropped.
So how do you make a choice? When purchasing a defibrillator, look for these attributes:
- Leading practice technology that is TGA approved
- Intuitive to use even by an untrained gym member/passer-by/responder
- Audible feedback and coaching to provide the responder with real-time assistance with regards to the rate and depth of chest compressions during CPR through visual and voice prompts
- Lightweight and durable
- Minimum 8-year warranty
- Ability to easily change batteries and pads
- Low/no maintenance
- Leading manufacturers that undertake continuous R&D with superior after-sales support
AND ensure the model defibrillator you purchase has a low ‘whole of life’ cost.
You can purchase a leading brand defibrillator for less than $2,000. When amortised over its, say, 8-year life, that equates to approximately $250 per year (even before its tax deductibility for your gym)!
If you own or manage a gym, you owe it to your members and staff to have a defibrillator on-hand as, together with effective CPR, it could mean the difference between life and death.
As you’re aware, returning to the gym after lockdown offers your members immense benefits for their overall wellbeing. It’s hard to ignore the impact of regular exercise in a professional setting, such as:
- Improved overall health
- Improved mental wellbeing by reducing stress and improved mood
- Boosting fat loss
- Increased energy levels
- Improved sleep
- Opportunities to socialize
- Enhancing brain health and memory
But even with all these benefits, the gym also poses a health risk because of the intensity of workouts, including the potential for sudden cardiac arrests. Should this occur, having a defibrillator onhand, together with cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR), can mean the difference between life and death.
The Life-Saving Impact of a Defibrillator
Gyms/fitness centres rank as high-risk environments for sudden cardiac arrest. The risk of life-threatening arrhythmia increases during intense activities. When someone collapses in the gym, a certified trainer must act fast because this could be a case of cardiac arrest.
A defibrillator is a godsend in such incidences when used with CPR. The machine provides a shock to the heart in a case of life-threatening arrhythmia. Defibrillation helps restart the heart and limit further damage. The rapid erratic beating of the heart can lead to death or cause damage to critical tissue. A defibrillator shocks the heart to stop. When it starts beating again, it contracts rhythmically. This increases chances of survival of the person who suffers a heart attack or any other deadly cardiac event.
Why Every Gym Needs a Defibrillator
If you’re a gym owner, you need to invest in a defibrillator for these important reasons:
In the gym space, you have people with risk factors for heart problems. These factors include obesity, diabetes, heart disease and hypertension. These people exercise to manage their conditions and this is a good reason to have an automated external defibrillator in place.
It’s a Life Saver
A defibrillator can make all the difference when you have a cardiac-related incident at your gym. The last thing you want is for someone to die in your gym while you could have saved their life through defibrillation. AEDs improve survival odds in the gym in case of heart attack incidents.
Prevalence of Heart Problems
Did you know heart disease is Australia’s leading single cause of death? This means you might have more people in your gym at risk of SCA than you think. Research shows 75% of Australian adults exhibit multiple heart attack risk factors. People with higher-than-normal risk because of lifestyle or genetic factors are at higher risk of heart attacks.
Intensity of Exercises
Strenuous exercise like those in the gym raises short-term risk of heart attack and sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). For this reason, you should have a defibrillator to handle any SCA event that might arise.
Protecting Your Business
After putting so much work in your gym business, you don’t want a liability lawsuit to bring you down. A defibrillator has a lifespan of 6 years and has a price tag of about $1600. This means the annual cost is only $250 per year. This is negligible compared to the hefty compensation bill you might have to sort in case of a preventable death at your gym; and that $1600 is also an instant asset tax write off.
If you run a gym, consider buying a defibrillator to protect your clients, yourself, and the business. This life-saving equipment can make all the difference in your fitness business.