SOURCE: IDEA

IDEA

August 10, 2010 09:00 ET

IDEA Launches IDEA FitnessConnect Directory Linking Fitness Professionals to Consumers

The Fitness Industry's First Free, All-Inclusive National Directory of Fitness Professionals Launches With 100,000 Strong in Its Database

SAN DIEGO, CA--(Marketwire - August 10, 2010) -  IDEA Health & Fitness Association, the leading membership organization of health, wellness and fitness professionals including personal trainers, group fitness instructors, fitness directors and fitness business owners in more than 80 countries, launched IDEA FitnessConnect, its powerful new platform linking fitness professionals, certification verification partners and consumers, at the IDEA World Fitness Convention on August 4-8 in Los Angeles, CA.

The launch of IDEA's FitnessConnect was preceded by a brisk walk in the local community led by Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin and Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and hundreds of participants; US Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin attended the conference as a featured guest and as the 2010 IDEA Leadership Award recipient.

"This walk represents my vision for a healthy and fit nation," said Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin. "I am excited to participate in this convention and host this walk with Mayor Villaraigosa."

What Is It? IDEA FitnessConnect is the first free, all-inclusive national directory of fitness professionals. IDEA created this initiative to address the following challenges in the fitness industry:

  • Transparency. A recent survey found that 45% of those who claim to be certified fitness professionals are not actually certified.
  • Inclusiveness. Among the hundreds of fitness certifications and many professional directories, there is no reliable, unbiased source to help consumers find a qualified professional.
  • Qualifications. There is no standard set of qualifications for a consumer to consider when choosing a fitness professional.

IDEA FitnessConnect addresses these challenges directly:

  • As of today, all 13 fitness certification agencies accredited by the National Commission for Certifying Agencies (NCCA) have agreed to participate in IDEA FitnessConnect and will be verifying the certification status of professionals listed in the directory. The 13 agencies accredited by the NCCA are AAPTE, ACE, ACSM, IFPA, NASM, NCCPT, NCSF, NESTA, NETA, NFPT, NSCA, The Cooper Institute and TW-CC/A-CPT. Additionally, PTA Global has agreed to participate. This list will expand as IDEA adds more certification verification partners.
  • IDEA FitnessConnect is launching with more than 100,000 fitness professionals, 25,000 clubs/studios and 15,000 classes and events, already in the directory.
  • The directory is available through private-label syndication agreements to more than 16 million fitness- and health-oriented consumers. This promotes public attention to industry "self-policing," escalating the industry's reputation and the image of fitness professionals. By the end of the year, syndication partners are expected to help IDEA link interested customers to fitness professionals. They include Active.com, Health.com, Fitness Magazine and the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association. More partners will be added. 
  • IDEA FitnessConnect provides a responsible industry solution that sends a positive message to state legislators in terms of monitoring the industry's qualified professionals.
  • Professional profiles include a standard set of qualification data to help consumers make safe, informed decisions. This set includes data such as fitness certifications, college education, CPR certification status, specialties, activities, ratings, reviews and club affiliations.
  • IDEA FitnessConnect is free to professionals, consumers, certification agencies and syndication partners!

"With the launch of IDEA FitnessConnect, IDEA has created the largest national industry-wide directory, linking over 100,000 U.S. fitness professionals to more than 16 million consumers. By providing verified profiles of fitness professionals, we give consumers confidence in their choice of fitness services while strengthening the credibility and professionalism of our industry," said IDEA CEO Peter Davis.

For an in-depth look at the platform's features and functions, visit the following video outlining the project at www.ideafit.com/fitnessconnect which also includes instructions on how to get started by filling out a fitness professional profile-page.

For more information about IDEA Health & Fitness Association, visit http://www.ideafit.com/about or follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ideafit.

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