Returning Gym Members Are Confident in Safety Protocols at Their Gyms, Survey Found

Eighty-eight percent of people who have returned to their gyms after the lifting of COVID-19-related shutdowns say that they are confident in their gym’s safety protocols, according to a survey by IHRSA and Kelton Global.

Results of the survey, which was of gym members in the United States, are included in the report, “The COVID Era Fitness Consumer.”

Sixty-nine percent of respondents said they are familiar with the safety measures their gym has taken to mitigate the spread of COVID-19, and 69 percent are confident in the safety measures that are in place. That compares to their confidence levels in the safety measures at the following businesses: retailers (67 percent), coffee shops (67 percent) and indoor dining (62 percent).

The survey also asked about gym members’ routines during the shutdown and their satisfaction with their routines after gym reopening.

Fifty-four percent of gymgoers in the United States said they missed the routine of going to their health club during the COVID-19-related temporary gym shutdowns. Of those surveyed, 85 percent said the shutdown of their gym caused their fitness routine to change with 54 percent saying their new workout routine was less challenging while 53 percent said it was less consistent than their routine prior to the shutdowns. During the shutdowns, 53 percent of gymgoers surveyed said they went for outdoor walks or runs more often. Thirty-three percent said they streamed exercise videos at home, and 29 percent said they bought fitness equipment.

Ninety-four percent of those surveyed said they would return to their health club in some capacity. Forty-two percent of those surveyed said they went to the gym three to four days per week prior to the club shutdowns. After club reopenings, 35 percent say they will go three to four days per week.

Fifty-four percent of gymgoers who have yet to return to their clubs noted they were dissatisfied with their fitness routine. On the other hand, 44 percent of those who have returned to their gym are dissatisfied with their routine.

The social aspect appears to be important to gym members: 42 percent said that said they missed working out with other people, and 36 percent said they missed the sense of community they got from their gym.  

Sixty-three percent of gym members feel more stressed now than they did at the beginning of 2020. Respondents noted these stressors:

  • 76 percent feel anxious about their overall health
  • 65 percent are stressed about the U.S. economy
  • 58 percent are concerned about the U.S. presidential election
  • 49 percent are worried about their immunity
  • 39 percent are concerned about racial inequality

“The data confirms the essential role health clubs play in promoting and maintaining the wellbeing of consumers,” Jay Ablondi, executive vice president for global products for IHRSA, said in a media release about the survey. “With 70 percent of members relying on their gyms to maintain their overall health, Americans are looking at getting back to, maintaining and even improving their exercise habits - and nothing but confidence in their gyms to be safe, comfortable, and clean. Clearly, there’s no replacement.”

The full report offers more details on the comfort level that gymgoers have returning to their gym, how COVID-19 has affected their fitness level and has shaped their wellness outlook plus how they feel about the pandemic overall.