Bond University law academics will be leading Australian research on legal risks in the fitness industry after securing a A$212,459 Linkage grant from the Australian Research Council (ARC) yesterday.
Professor Patrick Keyzer, Associate Professor Joachim Dietrich and Dr Betul Sekendiz from the Centre for Law, Governance and Public Policy have received the funding for their research project “Legal risk management of adverse health outcomes and injury in the fitness industry: developing evidence-informed regulation that improves safety”.
The lead chief investigator of the research project, Professor Patrick Keyzer said this was an exciting project that had the potential to yield real benefits for all Australians.
“Over half of the men and women in Australia are overweight or obese, so encouraging fitness activity is a national public policy priority,” said Professor Keyzer.
“This research addresses the national research priority of “Preventative Healthcare” and will fill an important knowledge gap.
“Many Australians join gyms and participate in fitness activities to maintain or improve their health and the fitness industry has a critical role to play in supporting active and healthy lifestyles, and to combat diseases.
“Fitness industry service providers and consumers understand that there are laws in place that are intended to improve safety, but we want to know whether Australian laws that control risk management in the fitness industry prevent adverse health outcomes and injuries,” said Professor Keyzer.
The research will analyse Australian laws, policies and practices designed to manage legal risks and liabilities in the fitness industry, and assess their effectiveness in preventing adverse health outcomes, injuries, and the legal liability associated with those risks.
The project is a collaborative research project involving two industry partners, Fitness Australia and Sports Medicine Australia, as well as Professor Caroline Finch from the Accident Prevention Research Centre of Monash University and Professor Kevin Norton from UniSA.
“We look forward to working with Fitness Australia, Sports Medicine Australia, fitness services providers and consumers and our university colleagues to work out better ways to achieve safety and reduce adverse health outcomes in the fitness industry,” said Professor Keyzer.
Bond University’s Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research) and Dean Faculty of Law, Professor Geraldine Mackenzie commended the team on securing the ARC funding.
“These grants are competitive and difficult to secure. I congratulate Professor Keyzer, Associate Professor Joachim and Dr Sekendiz,” she said.