Fitness Australia says there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID infection.

Sophisticated contact tracing via check-in, robust COVID-Safe industry plans and proven mental health benefits are just some of the important facts Australian’s need to remember about gyms and fitness facilities, according to the industry’s peak association Fitness Australia.

CEO Barrie Elvish said gyms and fitness facilities played a vital in the ongoing health of Australian’s as the nation recovers and gets on with the new normal, and that there was no evidence to show they cause further spread.

Mr Elvish said:

“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.”

Mr 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 per cent 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 13 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 CHO earlier this week.

Mr Elvish said:

“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.”