Wilmslow-based gym operator, Total Fitness has outlined its plans to ensure its centres are safe when the business is allowed to reopen as coronavirus restrictions are lifted.
The gym has put together a number of measures to enable good hygiene and social distancing in its facilities, working with the industry representative body, UK Active. The fitness chain has ambitions to reopen as soon as is safe to do so and in line with government advice.
Some of the measures Total Fitness plan to implement include:
- Social distancing in place, including poolside and during personal training sessions
- Equipment that can be used will be 2m apart
- Maximum gym capacity of 3m squared per person, and limiting class sizes by 50%
- Towels/sweat towels will not be taken onto the gym floor/into the studio
- Rigorous cleaning procedures in place
- At least 10 minutes between classes to enable cleaning and reduce the risk of groups forming, as well as staggering start times and revised timetabling
- Cafés, restaurants and bars will re-open when Government restrictions allow and will operate under any guidelines issued
- Measures to encourage better distancing in the changing area
Some facilities, such as squash courts and heat treatments are to remain closed, due to the difficulties of enforcing social distancing measures. However, Total Fitness believe itself to be in a strong position coming out of lockdown, given the large square footage of its gyms, averaging 73,000 sq ft. Even allowing for three square metres per person, gyms would not exceed 40% capacity at peak times.
The fitness chain also intends to overstaff its facilities in order to monitor social distancing and ensure regular cleaning can be carried out.
Total Fitness CEO, Sophie Lawler, commented on the importance of getting the health and fitness sector back up and running:
The activity sector has long served in the fight against preventable disease and at no time in my recollection has this been more important than now. It’s been exceptionally encouraging to hear physical activity talked about so much since the start of the crisis – indeed we’ve talked about it more in the last 7 weeks than we have in the last 7 years.
“We applaud the people who have continued to exercise and those who have joined the active population more recently – this is simply brilliant. We know from our decades of experience as health club operators that exercising alone at home isn’t the full solution for achieving sustainable lifestyle change and that the vast majority of people need additional support – namely variety; visit commitment (a date with a destination) and; social connection.
“Total Fitness health clubs have super scale facilities that enable a great deal of variety, space and social connection, giving us the opportunity to reopen safely and provide the well needed additional motivating factors needed to keep our members physically and mentally resilient.. We are guided by the government advice and our sector-wide framework facilitated by the team at UKactive – we will take their lead and will be ready to open as soon as permitted.”