Fitness Australia today made efforts to counter what is known as "misinformation, uninformed sources and negative comments" that is making health and fitness facilities "hotspots" for COVID-19.
Fitness Australia is aware that such comments cause some people to be too anxious to work out at their local gym and has collected data from a random sample of NSW fitness facility operators to prove that gyms are safe .
The survey, conducted in the two months since the gyms reopened due to the state coronavirus lockdown, shows more than 6.26 million check-ins at 423 NSW gyms – with no recorded broadcast.
Barrie Elvish, Chief Executive of Fitness Australia, stressed that the survey proves that gyms are safe and that additional hygiene measures are in place to ensure the safety of members. "These additional practices, which the industry is doing on their own, are working – to prove it. We have collected data from across the state showing that since it reopened in NSW on June 13, more than 6.26 million check-ins have been made. ins took place in 423 fitness studios.
“ cases of community broadcast were reported in a gym during the same period.
“The same cannot be said of restaurants or bars in NSW where cluster cases have started and spread. However, gyms are still being categorized into these and other entertainment venues and given a negative light. "
Fitness Australia data has been validated through electronic swipes used by all members for access. This also allows for sophisticated contact tracing should this be required.
Elvish said despite the extra precautions, sanitary practices and other initiatives many gyms across NSW are implementing to protect their members and employees, commentators continually refer to gyms as "hotspots" for COVID-19.
Adding a frustrated Elf, “While we acknowledge that 13 cases have been reported of a member visiting the gym while infected, health officials have not specifically identified any cases of transmission in a gym.
“Our industry understands the importance of protecting members and employees while using the fitness room. Therefore, owners and operators across the state are going beyond legal requirements and adopting additional health and safety practices.
“However, fitness studios are still wrongly classified as“ hotspots ”for the spread of COVID-19. It's inaccurate and harms the industry. "
Elvish said that gyms and personal trainers played a very important role in helping people maintain their mental health, boost their immune function and overall wellbeing, and urged governments to be positive instead of negative for the industry mark.
He concluded, “Since the beginning of COVID-19, Fitness Australia has focused on promoting the vital role the fitness industry plays in the overall health of our country.
“We're not part of the problem. We're part of the solution to get more Australians to be more active and prevent long-term lifestyle-related illnesses. "
“Rather than referring to sources wrongly referring to gyms as a 'hotspot', we urge the government to work with Fitness Australia and industry to ensure the health and safety of the community, which is certainly a key result – and continues to do so now Priority in the future. "
Images: Cleaning activity at a Fitness First facility (above, courtesy of Fitness First Australia) and Barrie Elvish (below).
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