Let me brighten your day with something you probably aren’t getting enough of; GOOD NEWS. Covid-19 has led to a year full of challenges for the fitness industry, and a quick look at your TV, your Twitter Feed, or your preferred news source might fill you with a sense of doom and gloom for gyms and fitness professionals everywhere.
But I’m happy to tell you today that according to some studies gyms and fitness centers have been shown to have no statistically significant link to Covid-19 transmission. According to an article by IHRSA, a study by the University of Oregon’s Consulting Group found that “by examining the correlation between weekly gym attendance data with the following week of positive COVID-19 rates, researchers found a non-statistically significant correlation between COVID-19 case rates and gym attendance.”
And while many on social media would tell you that gyms are higher transmission zones, science continues to prove that with the proper mask wearing and cleaning protocols, gyms are safer than bars or restaurants.
In another story by Kaiser Health News, Dr. Dean Blumberg, chief of pediatric infectious diseases at University of California Davis Health, shared that he isn’t too worried about people contracting Covid-19 from touching fitness equipment that someone else has used. In fact, according to the article recent studies have shown that ‘surface transmission’ isn’t affecting people as much as the passage of airborne droplets. “A gym where you can adequately social distance and you can limit the number of people there and force mask-wearing, that’s one of the safer activities,” Blumberg added.
And while it’s true that research is still ongoing, it’s becoming clearer that the positive impact of fitness on mental and physical health probably far outweigh the risk of Covid transmission, especially in facilities that enforce mask wearing and enforce proper sanitation guidelines.
Over the last year, we’ve learned a lot about the grit, tenacity, and determination of those in the fitness industry. Gyms and fitness professionals have found new ways to maintain their businesses and to WIN. This, combined with the continued scientific data that supports the reopening of gyms, should leave us all with the positive feeling that the fitness industry isn’t going ANYWHERE in 2021.