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Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID-19

Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID-19
September 25, 2020

The fitness industry’s peak association Fitness Australia, highlights that fitness facilities play a vital role in the ongoing health of Australians and asserts that there is no evidence to show these facilities cause further spreading of COVID-19 infection.

Fitness Australia note that sophisticated contact tracing via check-in, robust COVID-Safe industry plans and proven mental health benefits are just some of the important facts Australians need to remember about gyms and fitness facilities.

Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish advised “gyms are essential and very low risk. The important role they play in the long-term health of all Australians cannot be underestimated. Exercise improves the body’s immune system and helps keep us fit and healthy.

“Access to regular exercise, in a variety of environments, is essential for community mental health, physical health and wellbeing.

“We know millions of Australians use the gym regularly and we are asking all Australians to look at the facts and judge for themselves ‘are gyms safe’. We know they are and there is no data that indicates the contrary.”

Elvish said the fitness industry, both in Australia and globally, had a range of research data available around the safety of gyms including:

  • A US analysis of 49.4 million member check-ins across 2,873 gyms in the US over three months studied the “visit-to-virus” ratio data from health and fitness clubs, showed out of the nearly 50 million visits, only 0.0023% had tested positive for COVID-19 – a result deemed statistically irrelevant.
  • ukactive figures shows there were 22 million visits to fitness facilities during the two months following reopening, with the number of COVID-19 cases per 100,000 visits logged as 0.34, with no community transmission occurring
  • Fitness Australia research found there was more than 7.31 million check-ins across 546 gyms in the first eight weeks after they reopened in NSW on 13th June. During that same period there had been zero cases of reported community transmission in a gym
  • To demystify alleged COVID links to “high exertion” MyZone data analysed 49,705,457 workouts and 3.8 Billion minutes of exercise over the last 12 months ending August 10th, 2020 showing high exertion occurs less than 20% of time and very high exertion less than 4%
  • Gyms and fitness facilities have members, not customers, enabling strict and robust contract tracing via electronic swipe and bookings data.

Fitness Australia is continuing to work with the Victorian Government on their road map for reopening gyms and is optimistic following positive engagement with the Deputy Chief Health Officer earlier this week.

Elvish added “we have had positive engagement with Victorian authorities this week that we hope will enable us to work more closely together to determine appropriate COVID Safe reopening restrictions and guidelines for the industry. Our priority is still to get gyms open sooner rather than later due to the essential service they offer.”

Related Articles

21st September 2020 - Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish to meet with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer to urge gym reopening

18th September 2020 - Operator questions Fitness Australia’s 26th October reopening claim for Victorian gyms

15th September 2020 - Fitness industry disappointed gyms in regional Victoria cannot reopen under this week’s Coronavirus easing

14th September 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for one-on-one training to be allowed under Victoria’s new outdoor exercise restrictions

10th September 2020 - Fitness Australia confirms Melbourne gyms to reopen from 26th October

6th September 2020 - Fitness Australia challenges Victorian Chief Health Officer’s assertion that gyms ‘cause outbreaks’

30th August 2020 - Fitness Australia calls for Victorian Government to reclassify health and fitness facilities as an ‘essential service’ 

25th August 2020 - Fitness Australia announces partnership with hygiene product business Clean Life

21st August 2020 - Fitness Australia secures support for exercise to be classed as an ‘essential service’ from Victorian shadow sport minister

13th August 2020 - Fitness Australia counters ‘misinformation’ that suggests gyms are a hotspot for COVID-19

11th August 2020 - Fitness facilities at the crossroads and demanding new approaches

8th August 2020 - Les Mills Asia Pacific invites Victorian instructors and fitness enthusiasts to invest in themselves

7th August 2020 - Fitness First introduces attendee temperature checks at NSW clubs

21st July 2020 - Technogym’s Nerio Alessandri says ‘gyms are safe’


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