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UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

features

Facilities: Personal space

Changing rooms have been largely closed during the pandemic, but as clubs open up, how will ongoing pandemic restrictions impact changing room design? We ask the experts for their observations and reflections

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 3
It’s important for all facilities to have a layout that’s flexible, says Safe Space’s Gregg Rumble / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
It’s important for all facilities to have a layout that’s flexible, says Safe Space’s Gregg Rumble / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
Gregg Rumble
Safe Space Lockers

The challenge for any gym is how best to maximise space, and so the trade-off with increasing the size of changing facilities might be reducing the available space for F&B, which may then impact secondary spend or even reduce space on the gym floor, so maximising the existing changing space will be important.

Ultimately, changing room trends will be led by the whole gym experience; we’ll see a smarter use of space and more consideration given to layout that encourages social distancing and a shift away from tightly packed changing facilities, to ensure members feel safe and comfortable.

We’ve seen some operators adapt their space to restrict access to certain lockers, vanity units, benches, toilet cubicles, etc, to help manage social distancing, however this is more difficult to implement in smaller changing rooms.

Cubicles enforce social distancing, however they’re confined spaces with more surface area, so require thorough cleaning.

Ideally each cubicle would be sanitised after use and before another member occupies it, however this can be difficult for staff to manage and puts more responsibility on members.

We’re seeing more use of tech – using contactless via a mobile app to secure lockers is one example, and a way of reducing contact with surfaces.

We’re yet to experience a significant shift in how operators are designing their changing rooms. I think a key reason for this is the unknown in terms of how the pandemic will progress.

It’s important for any new facility to have a gym design and layout that’s flexible and can be adapted – we’ve seen this with existing spaces – gyms are putting in temporary measures to help manage social distancing and keep members safe, while still providing a quality of service and experience that encourages them to return. New changing facilities should be no different.

We’ll see a smarter use of space and more consideration given to layouts that encourage social distancing
Spencer Grimwood
Crown Sports Lockers

Our belief is that once the vaccination rollout is completed by summer, operators will return to ‘business as usual’ regarding changing room provision. To the best of our knowledge, our key clients in the health club sector are not planning longer-term redesigns of their changing room layouts.

We introduced one or two adjustments to our changing room designs to aid social distancing when the first lockdown was announced, such as reducing the number of hairdryer points at a vanity station and increasing the distance between the freestanding benches and lockers to improve people flow and minimise pinch points.

Given the strictures and business impact of lockdown, operators will want to welcome guests and members in numbers that will help redress their bottom lines as quickly as possible, in accordance with government guidelines.

As lockdown lifts, these factors may prevail over current social distancing measures, especially if vaccine passports are introduced and users gain greater confidence about proximity to others.

Looking ahead I think locking systems will be one of the main focus points. Rather like attitudes to coinage, are customers going to want to touch a key that has been handled by lots of others to secure their locker?

Several of our clients are looking to change to RFID locks, which can be operated by the customer’s membership card, wrist band or mobile device. These types of locks are also easier to keep clean for the operator.

Operators will want to welcome guests and members in numbers that will help redress their bottom lines as quickly as possible
Operators will return to ‘business as usual’ once the vaccine rollout is completed, predicts Spencer Grimwood / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/264351_486473.jpg
Will social distancing mean changing rooms will need a redesign?
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features

Facilities: Personal space

Changing rooms have been largely closed during the pandemic, but as clubs open up, how will ongoing pandemic restrictions impact changing room design? We ask the experts for their observations and reflections

Published in Health Club Management 2021 issue 3
It’s important for all facilities to have a layout that’s flexible, says Safe Space’s Gregg Rumble / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
It’s important for all facilities to have a layout that’s flexible, says Safe Space’s Gregg Rumble / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
Gregg Rumble
Safe Space Lockers

The challenge for any gym is how best to maximise space, and so the trade-off with increasing the size of changing facilities might be reducing the available space for F&B, which may then impact secondary spend or even reduce space on the gym floor, so maximising the existing changing space will be important.

Ultimately, changing room trends will be led by the whole gym experience; we’ll see a smarter use of space and more consideration given to layout that encourages social distancing and a shift away from tightly packed changing facilities, to ensure members feel safe and comfortable.

We’ve seen some operators adapt their space to restrict access to certain lockers, vanity units, benches, toilet cubicles, etc, to help manage social distancing, however this is more difficult to implement in smaller changing rooms.

Cubicles enforce social distancing, however they’re confined spaces with more surface area, so require thorough cleaning.

Ideally each cubicle would be sanitised after use and before another member occupies it, however this can be difficult for staff to manage and puts more responsibility on members.

We’re seeing more use of tech – using contactless via a mobile app to secure lockers is one example, and a way of reducing contact with surfaces.

We’re yet to experience a significant shift in how operators are designing their changing rooms. I think a key reason for this is the unknown in terms of how the pandemic will progress.

It’s important for any new facility to have a gym design and layout that’s flexible and can be adapted – we’ve seen this with existing spaces – gyms are putting in temporary measures to help manage social distancing and keep members safe, while still providing a quality of service and experience that encourages them to return. New changing facilities should be no different.

We’ll see a smarter use of space and more consideration given to layouts that encourage social distancing
Spencer Grimwood
Crown Sports Lockers

Our belief is that once the vaccination rollout is completed by summer, operators will return to ‘business as usual’ regarding changing room provision. To the best of our knowledge, our key clients in the health club sector are not planning longer-term redesigns of their changing room layouts.

We introduced one or two adjustments to our changing room designs to aid social distancing when the first lockdown was announced, such as reducing the number of hairdryer points at a vanity station and increasing the distance between the freestanding benches and lockers to improve people flow and minimise pinch points.

Given the strictures and business impact of lockdown, operators will want to welcome guests and members in numbers that will help redress their bottom lines as quickly as possible, in accordance with government guidelines.

As lockdown lifts, these factors may prevail over current social distancing measures, especially if vaccine passports are introduced and users gain greater confidence about proximity to others.

Looking ahead I think locking systems will be one of the main focus points. Rather like attitudes to coinage, are customers going to want to touch a key that has been handled by lots of others to secure their locker?

Several of our clients are looking to change to RFID locks, which can be operated by the customer’s membership card, wrist band or mobile device. These types of locks are also easier to keep clean for the operator.

Operators will want to welcome guests and members in numbers that will help redress their bottom lines as quickly as possible
Operators will return to ‘business as usual’ once the vaccine rollout is completed, predicts Spencer Grimwood / photo: Lucky Business/shutterstock
https://www.leisureopportunities.co.uk/images/2021/264351_486473.jpg
Will social distancing mean changing rooms will need a redesign?
Latest News
People with depression should be prescribed exercise and then monitored for the first 12 weeks ...
Latest News
Frequent strenuous exercise increases the risk of developing motor neurone disease (MND) in people with ...
Latest News
The UK government has extended the ban on commercial evictions until 25 March 2022. Announcing ...
Latest News
Operating a further four weeks at reduced capacity will place serious pressure on English fitness ...
Latest News
People experiencing homelessness are being offered free access to leisure centres by Oxford City Council. ...
Latest News
IHRSA has appointed Elizabeth Clark as its new president and CEO. Clark joins the industry ...
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Boutique studio operator TRIB3 has launched its own-brand range of luxury toiletries. The operator, which ...
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Rainer Schaller's RSG Group is bringing its John Reed brand of health clubs to the ...
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Opinion
promotion
While much of the fitness industry has reopened its doors across the UK over the past weeks, many members are yet to return.
Opinion: Re-engaging your post-lockdown absent members
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: First digital ecosystem for fitness equipment is launched after £300,000 funding boost
Orbit4 is the first digital ecosystem that manages and facilitates the entire commercial fitness product cycle.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Celebrating the return of group exercise – Les Mills to host free ‘Fastest Way Back’ livestream event for the industry
Last month (May) saw the welcomed return of group exercise classes. Group exercise is the heartbeat for so many clubs, with in-studio and instructor-led live experiences at the pinnacle.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Everyone Active bolsters Everyone on Demand and enters second year with five new partnerships
Everyone Active has signed a number of new deals which will see the operator strengthen its digital product offering, Everyone on Demand.
Featured operators news
Featured operator news: Being active helps Parkwood Leisure customers save the NHS £16m
Parkwood Leisure, one of the UK’s leading public leisure facilities operators, helped prevent more than 7,000 cases of stroke, dementia, depression and type 2 diabetes in 2019, saving the NHS £16 million, a new social value report has shown.
Company profiles
Company profile: Orbit4
Orbit4 is the umbrella brand for FitnessCompared, FitnessFinance, WeServiceGymEquipment and WeBuyGymEquipment....
Company profiles
Company profile: Mindbody
Mindbody is the leading technology platform for the wellness industry, featuring an app that allows ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Flooring
Total Vibration Solutions / TVS Sports Surfaces: Flooring
Fitness equipment
Precor: Fitness equipment
Lockers/interior design
Safe Space Lockers Ltd: Lockers/interior design
Salt therapy products
Himalayan Source: Salt therapy products
Skincare
Comfort Zone - Davines S.p.A: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
fibodo Limited: Management software
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
01-04 Jul 2021
Expo Centre & Riviera di Rimini, Italy
Diary dates
18-19 Sep 2021
Locations worldwide,
Diary dates
21-24 Sep 2021
Messe Stuttgart, Germany
Diary dates
28-29 Sep 2021
ExCeL London, London, United Kingdom
Diary dates
04-07 Nov 2021
Exhibition Centre , Cologne, Germany
Diary dates
01-07 Dec 2022
tbc, Dunedin, New Zealand
Diary dates
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