S&PA Professional magazine Spring 18

Page 38

S&PAProfessional / Spring 2018



The latest generation of gym equipment is actually providing electricity for the grid. Sue Weekes looks at some creative ideas for environmentally friendly equipment ne of Eco Gym of Brighton’s taglines is: ‘Memberships that don’t cost the earth’. Although there’s a clue in the company’s name, it is easy to miss the depth of meaning behind this phrase. As well as working out for the benefit of their bodies, the gym’s members know they are also benefiting the planet, as its equipment converts human power into electricity that can be put back into the local grid. Paul Crane, a former general manager at Virgin Active, set up a community-based gym in Lancing, West Sussex, in 2011. He had always been interested in green power, but says that at the time the kit was clunky and not readily available on a commercial basis. In 2015, though, he took on an “eco-engineered building” in Brighton which was the perfect environment to realise his aspirations, and formed a relationship with pioneering green power equipment manufacturer SportsArt. “I made some radical changes and pivoted the business,” says Crane, who co-owns the gym with business partner Andy Little. As well as using SportsArt ECO-POWR spin bikes, the gym has also installed energy-efficient flooring and lighting. “It’s now in everything we do,” he says.


SportsArt, whose UK base is in Loughborough and which sells to more than 70 countries around the world, has been designing and building exercise and gym equipment for almost 40 years. Having watched a video on global warming many years ago, founder Paul Kuo o felt inspired to give something back to o the environment. The company went on to develop the ECO-POWR POWR range, which enables bles up to 74% of a user’s er’s energy spent exercising rcising to be converted into nto utility-grade electricity tricity and fed back into the building’s power grid. The range provides every fitness ness club with the potential to

become “a mini power plant” capable of creating clean power, he says. The company has also developed software that shows how much energy a gym is creating overall as well as drilling down to how much an individual member is generating. The company is about to launch a treadmill that draws no electricity, with the belt being propelled by the user. It’s the first of a new generation of ECO-POWR kit that will also include bikes, steppers and ellipticals, says UK manager Roger Eldergill. “We’ve relaunched the products with the main difference being that the micro-inverter is inside, not outside, the machines, so there are no extra cords or boxes to have a manage. So you can hav complete range of cardiovascular equipment equipm lower that is helping to lowe utility costs and cut back on emissions emissio going out in the world,” he says. Eco Gym recently became becam the be first gym in the world to b awarded certification from Green Circle, C which was established to substantiate environmental environme

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