GET HCM
magazine
Sign up for the FREE digital edition of HCM magazine and also get the HCM ezine and breaking news email alerts.
Not right now, thanksclose this window
Active IQ
Active IQ
Active IQ
Follow Health Club Management on Twitter Like Health Club Management on Facebook Join the discussion with Health Club Management on LinkedIn Follow Health Club Management on Instagram
UNITING THE WORLD OF FITNESS
Health Club Management

Health Club Management

News

Groundbreaking research indicates gyms pose no additional risk of catching COVID-19

A large-scale academic study has concluded that there is "no threat of increased COVID-19 spread" at fitness facilities, even when intensive training takes place.

A team of researchers at the University of Oslo, led by professor Michael Bretthauer, investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission (the virus responsible for COVID-19) – and whether it was attributable to gyms.

"Our trial showed no virus transmission or increase in COVID-19 disease that was related to the opening of gym facilities," said Bretthauer.

The research – the first of its kind in Europe – studied 3,764 members of the public, aged between 18 and 64 years, who had no COVID-19 relevant comorbidities.

Roughly half (1,896) of the people were given access to visit the gyms, while the other half (1,868) – a control group – were not.

The former were given access to five gyms – SATS Sjølyst and CC Vest (two health clubs owned by Nordic fitness giant SATS), STOLT Stovner and Rommen (both operated by gym chain STOLT Trening), and EVO Bryn (a gym owned and operated by EVO Fitness Group).

Facilities were opened from 22 May 2020 specifically for the study – while Norway was still in lockdown – and activities available at the gyms included services the clubs would normally provide, from gym floors to group classes (including spinning and yoga).

Those visiting a gym had to adhere to the virus prevention guidelines drawn up by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

These included social distancing (one meter for floor exercise, two meters for high-intensity classes) as well as enhanced hand and surface hygiene, while all workout stations were supplied with disinfectants in order for them to be cleaned after each use by the member.

Gym staff also controlled access to the gyms, to ensure distance measures and avoid overcrowding. Locker rooms were open, but showers and saunas were closed.

The research team then tested each person for SARS-CoV-2 by self-administered naso-, oropharyngeal and sputum sampling after two weeks – and clinical disease by linkage to electronic patient records after three weeks.

In the group that trained at a gym, 81.8 per cent trained at least once and 38.5 per cent visited a gym six times or more, with the remainder ranging between these two measures.

Out of 3,016 individuals who returned the SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, there was one positive test, but while the positive individual was part of the "gym group", they had not visited the gym before the positive test and contact tracing found that they had actually been infected in their workplace.

During the three-week study, there were no outpatient visits or hospital admissions due to COVID-19 in either group.

In addition, out of 91 employees who worked at the training facilities during the trial period and agreed to provide data, 83 (91.2 per cent) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and none were positive.

In its conclusion, the researches stated: "Our trial showed no virus transmission or increase in COVID-19 disease related to the opening of gym facilities, providing good hygiene and social distancing routines were in place.

"By emergency law, all training facilities were closed in Norway during the pandemic. The closure was reasoned by the assumption that training activity at the facilities would increase the risk of virus transmission between members of the facilities and thus COVID-19 disease among members, staff and the community.

"However, basic hand hygiene and social distancing measures – by securing 1 to 2 meters distance between individuals – are well-proven and important virus transmission protection measures. They are inexpensive, easy to apply, and do not require large resources.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries introduced closures of important societal activities because it was assumed that the simple measures would not be enough to contain virus transmission.

"However, if virus containment, including contact tracing and quarantine, hand hygiene and personal social distancing measures are sufficient to prevent virus spread, closures could be avoided and thus harms reduced.

"Our trial sought to test if the closure of gyms is needed, or if open facilities can provide enough hygiene and social distancing to prevent virus spread.

"If hygiene and distancing measures could be achieved, we assumed it would be safe to open gyms and training facilities.

"As our results show, there was no increase in COVID-related disease due to the opening of gyms and training facilities."

• To download and read the full study, which is awaiting peer review, titled Randomized Re-Opening of Training Facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic – click here.

MedRxiv, which has published the paper as a preliminary report, recommends as a matter of protocol that no clinical decisions are based on research until after it has been peer-reviewed.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
A large-scale academic study has concluded that there is "no threat of increased COVID- 19 spread" at fitness facilities, even when intensive training takes place.
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,PUB
2020/THUMB345783_271106_127116.jpg
Latest News
Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether ...
Latest News
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since ...
Latest News
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA ...
Latest News
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it ...
Latest News
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and ...
Latest News
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally ...
Latest News
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short ...
Latest News
A new pioneering approach looks to help cancer patients prepare for and respond to treatment ...
HCM Magazine
Hospitality
Fitness, wellness and recovery are driving new investments in the hotel and resorts market, with Kerzner the latest to enter this space, as Megan Whitby reports
HCM Magazine
Research
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, with only advanced age and organ transplant leading to greater risk
HCM Magazine
HCM People
The idea was to weave a wellness culture into the fabric of village life by incorporating movement, rest and relaxation, nutrition, connectedness, purpose and environment
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Hamilton’s Honour is Leicester’s newest fitness studio opening, with the latest innovation from Technogym. But this studio has a unique story, too. Owner Louis Hamilton tells us why he was determined to create such a special place
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Matrix Fitness is launching a new three-tiered cardio range to provide total versatility, explains Matt Pengelly
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We’re going after health club and spa management contracts for hotels and independent gyms and also planning to launch a You Fit franchise
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
More than 30,000 Hussle users have been turned into direct members in the last 18 months. Find out how Hussle can help your business bounce back
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting
HCM magazine
Groundbreaking research from around the world is proving the many ways exercise can support health and creating opportunities for the sector to be more valued and useful
HCM magazine
For years the health and fitness sector has aspired to be taken seriously by the health sector. Is now the time? asks Kath Hudson
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Engaging smart technology helps gyms and fitness professionals get their leading role back
Safety, quality of service, and member engagement are key in order to offer a unique fitness experience that will boost the re-start.
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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

News

Groundbreaking research indicates gyms pose no additional risk of catching COVID-19

A large-scale academic study has concluded that there is "no threat of increased COVID-19 spread" at fitness facilities, even when intensive training takes place.

A team of researchers at the University of Oslo, led by professor Michael Bretthauer, investigated SARS-CoV-2 transmission (the virus responsible for COVID-19) – and whether it was attributable to gyms.

"Our trial showed no virus transmission or increase in COVID-19 disease that was related to the opening of gym facilities," said Bretthauer.

The research – the first of its kind in Europe – studied 3,764 members of the public, aged between 18 and 64 years, who had no COVID-19 relevant comorbidities.

Roughly half (1,896) of the people were given access to visit the gyms, while the other half (1,868) – a control group – were not.

The former were given access to five gyms – SATS Sjølyst and CC Vest (two health clubs owned by Nordic fitness giant SATS), STOLT Stovner and Rommen (both operated by gym chain STOLT Trening), and EVO Bryn (a gym owned and operated by EVO Fitness Group).

Facilities were opened from 22 May 2020 specifically for the study – while Norway was still in lockdown – and activities available at the gyms included services the clubs would normally provide, from gym floors to group classes (including spinning and yoga).

Those visiting a gym had to adhere to the virus prevention guidelines drawn up by the Norwegian Institute of Public Health.

These included social distancing (one meter for floor exercise, two meters for high-intensity classes) as well as enhanced hand and surface hygiene, while all workout stations were supplied with disinfectants in order for them to be cleaned after each use by the member.

Gym staff also controlled access to the gyms, to ensure distance measures and avoid overcrowding. Locker rooms were open, but showers and saunas were closed.

The research team then tested each person for SARS-CoV-2 by self-administered naso-, oropharyngeal and sputum sampling after two weeks – and clinical disease by linkage to electronic patient records after three weeks.

In the group that trained at a gym, 81.8 per cent trained at least once and 38.5 per cent visited a gym six times or more, with the remainder ranging between these two measures.

Out of 3,016 individuals who returned the SARS-CoV-2 PCR tests, there was one positive test, but while the positive individual was part of the "gym group", they had not visited the gym before the positive test and contact tracing found that they had actually been infected in their workplace.

During the three-week study, there were no outpatient visits or hospital admissions due to COVID-19 in either group.

In addition, out of 91 employees who worked at the training facilities during the trial period and agreed to provide data, 83 (91.2 per cent) were tested for SARS-CoV-2 and none were positive.

In its conclusion, the researches stated: "Our trial showed no virus transmission or increase in COVID-19 disease related to the opening of gym facilities, providing good hygiene and social distancing routines were in place.

"By emergency law, all training facilities were closed in Norway during the pandemic. The closure was reasoned by the assumption that training activity at the facilities would increase the risk of virus transmission between members of the facilities and thus COVID-19 disease among members, staff and the community.

"However, basic hand hygiene and social distancing measures – by securing 1 to 2 meters distance between individuals – are well-proven and important virus transmission protection measures. They are inexpensive, easy to apply, and do not require large resources.

"During the COVID-19 pandemic, countries introduced closures of important societal activities because it was assumed that the simple measures would not be enough to contain virus transmission.

"However, if virus containment, including contact tracing and quarantine, hand hygiene and personal social distancing measures are sufficient to prevent virus spread, closures could be avoided and thus harms reduced.

"Our trial sought to test if the closure of gyms is needed, or if open facilities can provide enough hygiene and social distancing to prevent virus spread.

"If hygiene and distancing measures could be achieved, we assumed it would be safe to open gyms and training facilities.

"As our results show, there was no increase in COVID-related disease due to the opening of gyms and training facilities."

• To download and read the full study, which is awaiting peer review, titled Randomized Re-Opening of Training Facilities during the COVID-19 pandemic – click here.

MedRxiv, which has published the paper as a preliminary report, recommends as a matter of protocol that no clinical decisions are based on research until after it has been peer-reviewed.

Sign up here to get HCM's weekly ezine and every issue of HCM magazine free on digital.
A large-scale academic study has concluded that there is "no threat of increased COVID- 19 spread" at fitness facilities, even when intensive training takes place.
SAR,HAF,FIT,IND,PTS,ACD,RES,PUB
2020/THUMB345783_271106_127116.jpg

News

Fully vaccinated people in the US no longer need to wear a face mask whether
Anytime Fitness UK has revealed that April was its busiest month for new memberships since
HCM understands that Fitness International, which operates more than 700 health clubs under the LA
A court has given Virgin Active the green light to erase the rent arrears it
The Swimming Teachers' Association (STA) has partnered with a psychologist to provide new mindfulness and
A report commissioned by Parkrun has estimated that allowing mass-participation outdoor events carries an "exceptionally
Advance Gym
Advance Gym
Marc Jones has joined Fitronics, the company behind The Retention People (TRP) and CoursePro, in
Jan Spaticchia, founder and chair of énergie Fitness has died aged 51 following a short
A new pioneering approach looks to help cancer patients prepare for and respond to treatment
Peloton is recalling all of its Tread and Tread+ machines in the US, after striking
Health club operator Bannatyne is repositioning itself as a wellness provider, as it looks to
Health clubs and leisure centres in Northern Ireland reopened their doors on Friday 30 April,
It's time to refocus on the changing needs of older adults, according to a new
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Miha Bodytec GmbH
Safety, quality of service, and member engagement are key in order to offer a unique
In breaking news, HCM understands that David Lloyd Leisure's Glenn Earlam will move from his
Sport England has reported a drop of 710,000 in the number of people classed as
Independent gyms in the UK have fared better during the pandemic than larger corporate operators
Actor Mark Wahlberg has officially joined Power Plate as an investor in parent company, Performance
Fitness and health are priority areas of expenditure for consumers in six key nations around
Taking antihistamines prior to exercise can prevent the body from getting the full benefit of
FreeMotion Fitness
FreeMotion Fitness
With gyms and leisure centres in England reopened, and the rest of the UK due
Sport England has teamed up with Youth Sport Trust to develop a new online resource
Rowbots, the boutique fitness brand co-founded by star footballer Gareth Bale, has revealed plans to
Crown Sport Lockers (UK) Ltd
Crown Sport Lockers (UK) Ltd
1 - 20 of 11,885
HCM Magazine
Hospitality
Fitness, wellness and recovery are driving new investments in the hotel and resorts market, with Kerzner the latest to enter this space, as Megan Whitby reports
HCM Magazine
Research
Lack of exercise is a major cause of death from COVID-19, according to new research, with only advanced age and organ transplant leading to greater risk
HCM Magazine
HCM People
The idea was to weave a wellness culture into the fabric of village life by incorporating movement, rest and relaxation, nutrition, connectedness, purpose and environment
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Hamilton’s Honour is Leicester’s newest fitness studio opening, with the latest innovation from Technogym. But this studio has a unique story, too. Owner Louis Hamilton tells us why he was determined to create such a special place
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
Matrix Fitness is launching a new three-tiered cardio range to provide total versatility, explains Matt Pengelly
HCM Magazine
HCM People
We’re going after health club and spa management contracts for hotels and independent gyms and also planning to launch a You Fit franchise
HCM Magazine
Sponsored
More than 30,000 Hussle users have been turned into direct members in the last 18 months. Find out how Hussle can help your business bounce back
HCM Magazine
HCM magazine
When women train on half-truths and crap science it’s painfully limiting
HCM magazine
Groundbreaking research from around the world is proving the many ways exercise can support health and creating opportunities for the sector to be more valued and useful
HCM magazine
For years the health and fitness sector has aspired to be taken seriously by the health sector. Is now the time? asks Kath Hudson
HCM magazine
Over time, town planning has led to the creation of obesogenic environments, but Hamilton in New Zealand is taking a fresh approach to mobilising its population, by turning the city into a playground, as Kath Hudson reports
HCM magazine
As we adapt to a new way of living, software developers have been supporting the fitness sector with new systems and strategies. We asked operators and developers to share successes
HCM magazine
Switzerland’s no frills chain, NonStop Gym, has appointed Funxtion to create its member training app, as CEO Ernst De Neef explains
HCM magazine
Our strategy is to position ourselves as a wellness provider. We have all the elements needed – gyms, physiotherapy, F&B and spas
HCM magazine
A new report, conducted by Deloitte, analyses the growth of the Chinese fitness industry and the outlook ahead, as Kristen Walsh reports
HCM magazine
"Prescribing exercise will always be preferential to prescribing painkillers, given the risks associated with their long-term use"
HCM magazine
Opinion
promotion
The UK’s first dedicated leisure development framework has completed its first four-year term with £144m committed investment in public leisure projects.
Opinion: UK’s first leisure framework celebrates £144m investment in public leisure
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Cryotherapy specialists, L&R Kältetechnik, launch new artofcryo.com division
L&R Kältetechnik has launched a new division, named artofcryo.com, after 30 years’ experience with -110 °C electrical solutions.
Featured supplier news
Featured supplier news: Engaging smart technology helps gyms and fitness professionals get their leading role back
Safety, quality of service, and member engagement are key in order to offer a unique fitness experience that will boost the re-start.
Company profiles
Company profile: TRIB3 International Ltd
First established in Sheffield in January 2016 TRIB3 is a bootcamp boutique studio designed to ...
Company profiles
Company profile: Proinsight Research Ltd
We take time at the outset to understand your unique customer journey. Then we work ...
Catalogue Gallery
Click on a catalogue to view it online
Directory
Whole body cryotherapy
Art of Cryo: Whole body cryotherapy
Trade associations
International SPA Association - iSPA: Trade associations
Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Kemitron GmbH: Hydrotherapy / spa fragrances
Management software
Premier Software Solutions: Management software
Skincare
Sothys: Skincare
Exercise equipment
Pendex Fisio S.L.: Exercise equipment
Uniforms
Service Sport: Uniforms
Red Light Therapy
 Red Light Rising: Red Light Therapy
Wearable technology solutions
MyZone: Wearable technology solutions
Spa software
SpaBooker: Spa software
Property & Tenders
Pendine Sands, Carmarthenshire
Carmarthenshire County Council
Property & Tenders
Diary dates
07-09 Jun 2021
Virtual summit,
Diary dates
12 Jun 2021
Worldwide, Various,
Diary dates
13-14 Jun 2021
Online,
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
Search news, features & products:
Find a supplier:
Active IQ
Active IQ