RETURNING TO “NORMAL”: FALSE REALITY?
Gyms are some of the first businesses to close their doors when the COVID-19 pandemic struck, and now they are among the first places to reopen in some areas. According to reopening guidelines, gyms have to adhere to "strict physical distancing and sanitation protocols" when they reopen.
Even with all of those safety measures in place, going back to the gym can seem risky. But at the same time, many people would still prefer to go outdoors for exercise and get back into a healthy routine and work out at a proper fitness place.
Will it still be “business as usual” for the fitness world or is it now just a false reality?
PEOPLE’S THOUGHTS: GYMS REOPENING
The coronavirus pandemic took its toll on fitness industry. As cases level out in some places and decreased in others, gym owners review the pros and cons of returning to pre-COVID business as usual. With this, surveys were conducted to know the public’s opinion on gyms reopening.
A survey posted on Statista.com was conducted last April 2020 in the United States and about 68% of the total 2,200 respondents said that they were much less likely to go to the gym. In connection with this, another statistic was released, showing that about 18% of the total respondents said that they did not anticipate going back to the gym or exercise classes for the next six months at least.
For some, the safest place to do workout routines (as of the moment) is at home. Thus, forcing people to make big changes to their workout routines and consider other gym-free alternatives.
IMPACT OF COVID-19 ON GYM MEMBERSHIPS
In the face of this COVID-19 outbreak, some areas are beginning their initial stages of reopening. With the commotion this crisis is posing on the fitness industry, it is an important aspect to know how gym members feel about gyms reopening.
Between April 24th and May 1st, Nicholas Rizzo, a powerlifter whose works have been featured on Forbes, Bodybuilding.com, Elite Daily and the like, initiated and conducted a survey with a total of 10,824 respondents from 116 different countries (6636 of which were US-based). It aimed to know if gym members plan to return to gyms upon reopening and whether they will be keeping their memberships or not.
5,052 (46.67%) of the 10,824 respondents with gym memberships globally said they would not return to their gym when it reopens and 5,772 (53.33%) said they would return.
46.67%, though not half, will pose a big threat for gym owners as they may struggle with getting members to come back despite safety measures implemented.
Key findings highlighted on the study:
- Americans are the least likely to return to their gyms upon reopening (50.16%).
- Nearly half of all gym members globally will not return to their gyms upon reopening (46.67%).
- More than a third of all gym members globally have already canceled or are considering canceling their memberships (36.57%).
- Women are less likely to return to the gym when reopened (52.25%) in comparison to men (45.75%).
- The UK has the highest amount of gym memberships already canceled (18.92%).
- Australia had the highest amount of members who either already canceled or were considering canceling their memberships (41.15%).
Gym, an escape and sanctuary in the day-to-day lives of millions, has become yet another source of fear in the age of this coronavirus pandemic. Gyms have stepped up hygiene measures to give members peace of mind but at the end, it is YOU who will decide.
Kate Pallardy, an elite runner and New York Sports Club member, says, “No virus will ever stop me from working out.”