Despite more than six weeks away from the gym, a recent consumer survey by Fitness Australia has found more than 85% of gym users will renew their memberships when gyms safely reopen.

With more than 4 million gym members across Australia, the economic impact of closures has been significant, but the latest findings provided a glimmer of hope for the thousands of fitness businesses and exercise professionals who are eager to get back to work.

Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish said while people had remained active during isolation many were missing the gym and looking forward to getting back to their regular routine once safe to do so.

Mr Elvish said:

“Our survey found more than 86% of people have continued to exercise since gyms closed in late March, with 36% walking or running to keep active.”

“However, while many have maintained a consistent level of exercise, 85% are keen to get back to their usual routine once gyms can reopen safely. What was also great to see was 54% are keen to maintain or review their membership to support their local facility or business.

“For many, the gym is also more than just a place to exercise, it’s a social environment with more than 24% of respondents saying the sense of community was their reason for maintaining or renewing their membership.”

Fitness Australia analysis of consumers surveyed found:

  • 86% have continued to exercise with walking/running (36%) the most popular form of activity, followed by own workout session eg Yoga, Pilates, strength training (29%)
  • 49% have exercised for 4+ hours a week
  • 85% will renew or maintain their membership once gyms reopen
  • Of those returning when gyms safely reopen, the survey found:

–  71% are eager to resume regular routine, classes or training
–  77% need access to the various equipment provided in the gym
–  63% have missed the gym
–  54% are doing it to support the reopening of the facility/local business

• Of those who will not renew or maintain a gym membership immediately, 30% are likely to renew within 3 months of facilities reopening.

Mr Elvish said it was very encouraging to see people eager to return to the gym and hoped further relaxations of restriction would see gyms reopen soon.

Mr Elvish said:

“Fitness and exercise clearly play a huge part in many people’s lives – both for physical and mental health. Enabling people to get back to a regular fitness routine should not be underestimated.”

“The wellbeing of Australians has never been more important. The sooner we can get gyms safely reopened the more opportunities for people to look after their overall health and wellbeing.”

“We believe gyms can reopen safely with the right hygiene and social distancing measures in place. We have seen the Northern Territory include gyms in their reopening framework from 15th May and we hope to see other states and territories take similar steps in the near future.”