Technogym Pushes Exercise as Medicine


Technogym is eyeing fitness by prescription.

Exercise Rx

The Italy-based fitness equipment manufacturer is doubling down on wellness and reaffirming its fitness solutions as a lifeline for preventative healthcare and ailing populations.

For context: Technogym has been a partner of ACSM’s Exercise as Medicine initiative, which aims to make prescribing activity the norm, since 2010.

Patiently holding course through the pandemic-era connected fitness boom and bust, Technogym has been laying the groundwork to position exercise prescriptions at the heart of the health system.

An hour a day… Health is Technogym’s fastest-growing sector and, having already partnered with 6K hospitals, CEO Nerio Alessandri envisions a future where “doctors will prescribe patients an hour of Technogym per day”.

Alessandri, who has financially supported activity-promoting organisations, including US-based IHRSA and the UK’s ukactive, believes health authorities will soon recognise exercise as medicine.

In sync with this goal, Technogym’s ecosystem is evolving, from its personalised Biocircuit and Biostrength systems to its interoperable Mywellness software.

Money Talks

Lifestyle medicine is finding its mark with wellness enthusiasts, with fitness trackers resembling medical devices, the food-as-medicine movement gathering ground, longevity clinics booming, and exercising for increased healthspan becoming the driving motivator for exercisers.

But, as the gap widens between those who exercise and those who don’t, health outcomes are worsening. On notice, Welsh health minister Eluned Morgan declared the NHS at “breaking point” and said the public getting fit was “fundamental” to helping the NHS and themselves, especially in reference to soaring costs of diabetes care.

Adding to the WHO’s alarm on physical inactivity, a Sport England report called for change but demonstrated a turnaround is possible.

Investing in movement and recreation, every £1 spent on getting people active in 2017–2018 created £4 in social and economic benefits to the tune of £9B, saving:

  • £1B from fewer stroke and heart disease cases
  • £3.6B through diabetes prevention
  • £670M from psychotherapy service cuts
  • £450M due to fewer GP visits

Looking ahead: While reactive treatment and pharma funding have traditionally formed the foundational model of our modern healthcare services, the devastating economic burden from inactive populations could break the mould. For Technogym, and rival EGYM, the timing has never been better for prescriptive fitness, but while some may argue it’s less lucrative than pharma, how long can we afford not to try?

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