World Active Continues Forward Momentum

World Active Continues Forward Momentum

Over 60 organizations Participate for 2nd Annual Assembly and Summit

World Active, the global platform for the fitness and physical activity sector, has advanced to its next phase! Representatives from more than 60 organizations have participated for the second World Active General Assembly and Summit on April 12, 2024, held during FIBO Global Fitness in Cologne, Germany. Together, they elected the new World Active Council members, who are poised to guide this unique global initiative into its next chapter. Amy Boone Thompson, newly elected World Active Chair and former Vice Chair, emphasized the significance of this gathering in the industry’s global history, acknowledging both progresses made and the work ahead: “We are eager to strengthen our collaboration with the World Health Organization and other international partners. Our mission remains clear: to inspire more people to engage in regular physical activity for improved public health worldwide. There’s much more we can achieve together, and we’re committed to making a meaningful impact.”

Amy Boone Thompson will collaborate closely with the newly elected Vice-Chair, David Stalker, and Treasurer, Samir Kapoor, to drive the initiatives of World Active forward.

The World Active Council elections adhere to the provisions of the World Active Charter, a foundational document transparently endorsed by the founding members. The Council comprises representatives Jana Havrdova (Czech Chamber of Fitness) for Europe, Samir Kapoor (India Active) and David Stalker (EuropeActive) representing Asia and Europe respectively, Richard Beddie (Exercise New Zealand) for Oceania, and Amy Boone Thompson (IDEA Health & Fitness Association) for North America. This commitment to continental representation underscores the principle of providing an independent platform where all stakeholders have equal voice and rights, with an invitation for associations and registrars across the sector to join World Active.

“It’s amazing to see what we can learn from each other; last year we had the opportunity to represent World Active at World Health Organization (WHO) and that gave representatives a completely different perspective of how and why we need to work together if we really want to have an impact on global levels of physical activity,” Thompson said. “With many more countries on board I believe we are moving in the right direction. Having World Active invited and recognized by WHO is a massive step forward in getting the Industry recognized.”

The flagship event of the platform, the World Active Summit, is held annually. This gathering will unite stakeholders worldwide to address common opportunities and challenges, advocate collectively, and advance global health and well-being through collaboration and innovation. The World Active Manifesto serves as the framework, outlining key goals, visions, and principles for future cooperation. Additionally, chairs of World Active’s working groups presented their framework and both short and long-term plans for their focus areas, demonstrating the ongoing commitment to advancing the goals of World Active.

“The Medical Fitness Association (MFA) assists medically integrated health and fitness centers to achieve their full potential,” said David Flench, MFA President and CEO. “As an extension of that mission, MFA recognizes the importance of collaboration to improve public health worldwide. We are proud of our partnership with World Active to create one strong voice of inspiring people towards a healthy lifestyle.”


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About Medical Fitness Association
The Medical Fitness Association (MFA), a non-profit professional membership organization, was formed in 1991 to assist medically integrated health and fitness centers achieve their full potential. MFA provides industry standards, educational programs, certification opportunities, benchmark data, professional development, and networking opportunities for improving operational success and healthcare integration. Learn more at

Physical Activity in the Context of Antiobesity Medications

As the Antiobesity medications hit the market in growing numbers, Medical Fitness facilities will play an important role in promoting physical activity to ensure long-term success of achieving a healthy lifestyle. Check out this article, Contemporary Treatments for Obesity: Physical Activity in the Context of Antiobesity Medications, from The Translational Journal of the American College of Sports Medicine. Knowledge is power!

Click here to download the article.

Click here to read the article online.

Impact of a Medical Fitness Model

Kudos to The Wellness Institute, an MFA Certified Facility in Winnipeg Canada, on their new study published in the Journal of the American Heart Association using data from 11,000 members, to show that regular attendance at the Wellness Institute is linked with fewer major adverse cardiovascular events compared to non-members.

This study was funded by the Seven Oaks Hospital Foundation. CLICK HERE to download the full study report.


Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause of disease burden and death in the world. The medical fitness model may be an alternative public health strategy to address cardiovascular risk factors with medical integrated programming.


Medical fitness facility membership and attendance at least once per week may lower the risk of a major adverse cardiovascular event‐plus. The medical fitness model should be considered as a public health intervention, especially for individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease.

Study Shows Health Benefits from Membership at a Medical Fitness Facility

The Medical Fitness Association is pleased to share that a recent study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine concludes that “membership at a medical fitness facility was associated with a reduced risk of all-cause mortality and hospitalizations.”

Physical inactivity is a known risk factor for mortality. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only about half of the population in the United States achieves the recommended level of physical activity. The economic burden of physical inactivity is approximately 27 billion dollars per year.

The study was conducted over a ten-year period from 2005 to 2015 with two certified medical fitness facilities, The Wellness Institute and Reh-Fit Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba, to look at the link between membership at a medical fitness facility and health outcomes. Both facilities are certified by the Medical Fitness Association.

The medical fitness model is designed to improve health status by providing evidence-based, medically integrated programming to promote health. Unlike traditional fitness facilities, this model incorporates medical oversight; clinical integration with a health system; a higher level of staff education and training; health assessments; and health education.

Researchers were permitted to access over 500,000 deidentified provincial health records to use as the control group. The intervention group included over 19,000 members of The Wellness Institute and Reh-Fit Centre medical fitness facilities combined.

The study showed that:
• Medical fitness facility members had a 60 percent lower risk of all-cause mortality during the first 651 days and 48 percent lower after 651 days.
• Membership was also associated with a 13 percent lower risk of hospitalizations.
• Medical fitness members who attended more frequently (3 or more visits per week), the hospitalization rate was even lower.

“We are pleased to see the validation of what we have seen in the growing medical fitness industry,” said David Flench, CEO of the Medical Fitness Association. He added that certified medical fitness facilities provide a safe environment for older adults and those facing chronic diseases, while still serving the overall community for their health and wellness needs. “Medical fitness is defining the future of the fitness industry,” said Flench. “Over the past few years, we have seen an influx of commercial fitness facilities that are incorporating medical oversight and a broader offering of health and wellness services. As we now know, the benefit to members is significant.”


About the Study
This study was supported by Seven Oaks General Hospital Foundation, Chronic Disease Innovation Centre, Manitoba Centre for Health Policy, University of Manitoba, Research Manitoba and the Heart and Stroke Foundation.

Click here to view the article. 

Click here to download the infographic.