Trailblazing arthritis and MSK project in leisure centres expands to 100 leisure centres - Arthritis Action

Trailblazing arthritis and MSK project in leisure centres expands to 100 leisure centres

woman swimming in pool

1 February 2023

The innovative pilot programme we have been working on with GoodBoost, ukactive, Orthopaedic Research UK and ESCAPE-pain to increase support in leisure centres for people living with arthritis and MSK has expanded to 100 leisure centres. This month the pilot reached its second phase, expanding to an extra 85 swimming pools and leisure centres nationwide, as well as being delivered at home through an online app which provides virtual community support.

We are delighted by this progress in the project which shows how the fitness and leisure centre sector can work with organisations and charities that help people living with these conditions. Together we aim to reduce the burden on the healthcare system.

Ben Wilkins, CEO of GoodBoost, said: “The MSK hubs programme demonstrates what great partnership working can achieve: a replicable, rapid deployment package of training, technology and ongoing support.

“This is a great opportunity to transform any leisure venue, gym or swimming pool into a hub for health and wellbeing, delivering a triple bottom line: greater local health capacity that supports the NHS, increased footfall to leisure facilities and improved MSK health outcomes for local citizens.”

People taking part in the programme will be given access to self-management options that they can use at leisure centres and swimming pools as well as at home. Instructors will give support and users are given tablets to use for individually tailed online guidance for exercises in the gym or pool.

Arthritis affects 10 million people in the UK today and we are pleased that this project will be reaching out to these people so that they can make better use of their local leisure centres and swimming pools.

Shantel Irwin, CEO of Arthritis Action, said: “Arthritis Action is excited to move into phase two of this project aimed at helping more people with arthritis to access leisure centres around the UK.

“This project has the potential to deliver the blueprint for leisure centres to become local community hubs of welcoming support and self-management resources for people with arthritis and other mobility issues.”

These health hubs will provide people with exercise, rehabilitation and wellbeing support to help people maintain their mobility and reduce pain.