LONDON, ONT. – It is a clear reminder of the importance of physical fitness.

“A year of inactivity has shortened everyone’s life,” said David Patchell-Evans, CEO of fitness chains Goodlife Fitness and Fit4Life.

Patchell-Evans has teamed up with Impact Corporation, a Toronto-based agency that works with businesses to create positive social change.

“What happened with the pandemic is that people with less money have less access to care for their own health. The rich can sit in their gym at home, you know, on their exercise bikes, but other people don’t have access to it. “

They have teamed up with experts from various fields such as leisure, sport, community development and science to launch the “Change for Good-Health” initiative. Identify opportunities for more people to take action.

Paul Klein, CEO of Impakt Corporation, cites issues like the heightened levels of anxiety and depression reported after the second wave of the pandemic as one reason fitness must be a priority.

“Here you have this situation where, as in other areas, a problem that was already there was intensifying. And so, the people who tended to have had more health and mental health problems and were isolated are all the more affected in all of these areas. “

The pandemic has spurred the creation of many new supportive housing initiatives that include staff who address economic, psychological and addiction issues.

They say fitness should be included in these places too.

Patchell-Evans: “When you feel responsible for your own health, you feel responsible for your own self-esteem. You feel empowered. “

Members of the Change for Good Health initiative plan to produce an analysis paper in April showing ways in which higher levels of government can help change the spearhead.

They also plan to set up a pilot project based on their results.