One in four Americans will never be returning to gyms … even once the pandemic is over, according to new research.
A survey of 2,000 Americans who exercise at least twice a week surveyed respondents on their attitudes toward gyms in the “corona age” and found 24 percent are over them, with one in three saying they will be likely to go less than before.
However, four in 10 remain undeterred by COVID-19 and said they will be returning to the gym at the same rate or more once it opens back up.
The study, conducted by OnePoll on behalf of LIFEAID Beverage Co., also found many active Americans are turning to at-home workouts.
Forty-two percent of those polled said they have a home gym set-up that they prefer over their membership gym.
Going back to gyms is currently a big unknown, but many safety measures will surely be implemented upon re-opening, including masks.
Wearing a mask during a pandemic is common sense for many, with only 26 percent saying they are anti-mask and won’t go to any gym that requires it.
Twenty-nine percent said they are anti-mask but would wear one if their gym required it, while 20 percent are for masks and will wear one at the gym reluctantly — and 26 percent are for masks and won’t go to any gym that does not require them.
All that being said, 62 percent of those polled said they believe wearing masks in gyms will help against the spread of COVID-19 and 83 percent agreed they’d feel much more comfortable in gyms if everybody was wearing a mask.
Masks aren’t the only safety concern for gym-goers, however.
Thirty-eight percent of those surveyed said they will be wiping down the equipment each time before they use it.
Over nine in 10 said they’d be more vigilant about others wiping down equipment properly and half (49 percent) said they’d call somebody out for not properly cleaning the equipment after they use it.
“We understand why some gym-goers may reject wearing a mask throughout their entire workout, but no one should drop the ball on cleanliness and disinfection of hands and equipment. It’s a courtesy and a personal responsibility as much as the responsibility of the gyms,” said Aaron Hinde, co-founder of LIFEAID Beverage Co.
“What gym devotees also need to understand is there is a price for higher standards of cleaning and safety at the gym. That requires more staff, more equipment, more cleaning supplies. So gym-goers should not be surprised or even indignant if they get hit with higher fees. And if the gym is critical to your balance and wellness, you should accept those fees.”
People are keen to exhibit caution when returning to public spaces to get back into their exercise routine.
The average respondent said that when their gym opens back up, they’ll still wait around four and half weeks before finally returning for a workout.
Many feel this can’t come soon enough, as 75 percent said they feel they need to put in some overtime in order to get back in shape after a lengthy quarantine.
But it hasn’t been all bad, as the survey showed Americans learned some self-love during the time in isolation.
Three in four said they are more accepting of their bodies now than they were pre-pandemic and the average respondent was found to have made four positive lifestyle changes since it started, too.
“If we experience lasting, positive change from the gym shut down, we hope it’s an embrace of some level of moderation. We can be fit, healthy and very strong without being obsessive,” said Hinde. “And smart moderation may also be better for our longer term physical health.”
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