Gyms safe to reopen when allowed says Fitness Australia

By Sarah Stowe | 23 Apr 2020 View comments

The fitness industry is all set to reopen with improved health measures when the government gives the go-ahead, thanks to a robust re-opening framework to ensure the health and safety of members and employees.

Fitness Australia, the industry’s peak body, has been working with government authorities, industry stakeholders and international counterparts, including UK Active, IHRSA, Exercise NZ and the World Health Organisation, to develop a comprehensive blueprint for the safe reopening of gyms.

Barrie Elvish, CEO Fitness Australia, told Inside Franchise Business Executive there are current discussions with some of the state health departments, and from next week some state ministers, to identify and agree protocols for the various programs and facilities in the fitness sector.

Fitness Australia reopening strategy

“We believe gyms can safely reopen with social distancing and hygiene requirements in place, which is why we have prepared a strict reopening framework for all fitness facilities and personal trainers.

“Our framework includes a range of guidelines from temperature checking on arrival, high frequency cleaning and sanitation, spacing of equipment through to PPE for employees and members, reduced capacity for classes and outdoor fitness considerations,” he said.

Elvish also suggested gyms’ sign-in processes translates to instant contact tracking that could be provided to health authorities in real time if required.

The Fitness Australia CEO also pointed to the role exercise plays in our overall health and mental wellbeing.

“During the important phase of isolation, there has been a drastic increase in demand for mental health services such as Lifeline and Beyond Blue as well as a steep increase in alcohol consumption and online gambling.

“This coupled with people being less active has the potential to not only affect the long-term health of our whole community but also future  Health Budget outlays.

“Exercise and a regular fitness routine play a very important role in maintaining an individual’s immune system and their overall physical and mental health,” he said.