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Queensland gyms and fitness centres deemed an essential service

Queensland gyms and fitness centres deemed an essential service
November 22, 2021

Fitness Australia has welcomed advice from the Queensland Government that, under its vaccination road map, gyms and other health and fitness facilities are now considered an essential service.

As a result, both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be able to continue accessing health and fitness facilities after 17th December when Queensland reaches its COVID-19 vaccination rate of 80%.

Advising that the official recognition that gyms and other health and fitness facilities were considered an essential service was an extraordinarily positive step forward for the industry, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish (pictured) stated "during the height of the pandemic, Fitness Australia relentlessly advocated for health and fitness facilities to be considered essential due to the physical and mental health benefits of keeping active, especially during challenging and uncertain times.

“Recognition from the Queensland Government that we are now considered essential is fantastic.

“We have seen a dramatic shift in the perception of our industry by health authorities and governments across Australia and its fantastic news for both the seven million adult Australians who a visit a gym and the thousands of businesses in our industry.

“We are no longer seen as centres filled with testosterone charged, steroid pumped men but more so as positive facilities that support both men and women to look after their physical and mental health and overall wellbeing.”

Noting recent research commissioned by Fitness Australia in conjunction with Deakin University which found over 50% of Australians over the age of 15 who self-identify as partaking in regular exercise programs do so in gyms, health clubs and aquatic and recreation centres, Elvish added “after recreational walking, facility-based exercise and physical activity is the most popular pastime for both males and females in Australia, representing 35% of the adult population, and the most cited reasons for participation is to improve and/or maintain good physical and mental health.

“It is clear that the old perceptions of people going to a gym to look good has evolved to going to the gym to feel good and maintain a strong sense of overall wellbeing.

“Health and fitness facilities also provide the opportunity to re-connect with friends, share experiences and rebuild personal resilience.”

Elvish concluded that all Fitness Australia members will continue to follow all Queensland Government requirements and ensure a safe environment for everyone to keep active.

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