NEWS
Groundbreaking research indicates gyms pose no additional risk of catching COVID-19
POSTED 25 Jun 2020 . BY Tom Walker
The study showed that there was no increased COVID-19 spread at gyms when preventative measures, such as social distancing and hygiene measures, were adhered to Credit: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images
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.
 


CONTACT US

Leisure Media, Portmill House, Portmill Lane,
Hitchin, Hertfordshire SG5 1DJ Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385

©Cybertrek 2020

ABOUT LEISURE MEDIA
LEISURE MEDIA MAGAZINES
LEISURE MEDIA HANDBOOKS
LEISURE MEDIA WEBSITES
LEISURE MEDIA PRODUCT SEARCH
PRINT SUBSCRIPTIONS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTIONS
 
Leisure Management - Groundbreaking research indicates gyms pose no additional risk of catching COVID-19...
10 Jul 2020 Leisure Management: daily news and jobs
 
 
HOME
JOBS
NEWS
FEATURES
PRODUCTS
FREE DIGITAL SUBSCRIPTION
PRINT SUBSCRIPTION
ADVERTISE
CONTACT US
Sign up for FREE ezine
Latest news

25 Jun 2020

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

The study showed that there was no increased COVID-19 spread at gyms when preventative measures, such as social distancing and hygiene measures, were adhered to

The study showed that there was no increased COVID-19 spread at gyms when preventative measures, such as social distancing and hygiene measures, were adhered to
photo: Shutterstock.com/Flamingo Images

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.



Connect with
Leisure Management
Magazine:
View issue contents
Sign up:
Instant Alerts/zines

Print edition
 

News headlines
ukactive creates steering group for independent gym operators
ukactive creates steering group for independent gym operators   10 Jul 2020

Industry body ukactive has launched an Independent Operators' Steering Group, catering for members who run independently-owned sites or a small number .... more>>
Jubilation as spas set to reopen in England and Scotland following gruelling lobbying campaign
Jubilation as spas set to reopen in England and Scotland following gruelling lobbying campaign   10 Jul 2020

England and Scotland have become the most recent countries to announce their spas will reopen, following a hard-fought campaign by industry .... more>>
Olafur Eliasson, Gehl and Sebastian Behmann team up to turn Copenhagen road into car-free city park
Olafur Eliasson, Gehl and Sebastian Behmann team up to turn Copenhagen road into car-free city park   09 Jul 2020

A team of architects have revealed plans to transform a multi-lane road in central Copenhagen into a green and car-free city park. The project .... more>>
BREAKING: Gyms can reopen on Saturday 25 July
BREAKING: Gyms can reopen on Saturday 25 July   09 Jul 2020

The UK's fitness industry can finally get back to business on Saturday 25 July, following the government's announcement today (9 July) that gyms and .... more>>
Gyms thrash pubs by over 2,000% in google reopening searches
Gyms thrash pubs by over 2,000% in google reopening searches   09 Jul 2020

Interest in gym reopening in England is reaching fever pitch, with an announcement expected any time now. To calibrate interest and lighten the mood .... more>>
Exercise and bone health could be the key to anti-ageing
Exercise and bone health could be the key to anti-ageing   09 Jul 2020

Exercising increases levels of a protein hormone secreted by the bones which has a powerful anti-ageing effect on the rest of the body. .... more>>
Company profile


Precor

Throughout our history, we have been at the vanguard of fitness innovation and award-winning CV products.

View full profile>>

Catalogue gallery


Featured Supplier

BC SoftWear develops natural cotton and triple layer face masks for washing and reusing

BC SoftWear develops natural cotton and triple layer face masks for washing and reusing

Following a quick customer survey to establish demand, BC SoftWear pulled out all the stops to design and deliver a high quality and exceptional value face mask that their customers in the hotel, laundry and spa sectors could rely upon. More>>




in this issue

• Fitness United set up to support sector
• MPs write to Rishi Sunak, asking for tourism support
• Government 'stepping up plans' for the return of sport



Latest jobs

Jobs Search



Personal Trainer
Salary: Self-employed
Location: Catford, London, UK
Company: énergie group
Fitness Motivator / Personal Trainer
Salary: Competitive
Location: Midhurst, UK
Company: Everyone Active
Personal Trainer
Salary: Self-employed
Location: Southwark SE1, UK
Company: énergie group
Diary dates
Powered by leisurediary.com

10-11 Jul 2020

IFBA Live

The Slate at Warwick Conferences, Coventry, United Kingdom



Leisure Management magazine 2018 issue 1
Leisure Management
2018 issue 1

View issue contents
View on turning pages
Download PDF
  Tourism: Right to roam
Sweden is inviting everyone to come and stay – and indulge in a spot of wild camping. Jenny Kaiser from VisitSweden talks about the initiative More>>
  Tourism: Transforming Istria
In Istria, Croatia, tourism firm Maistra is changing the face of hospitality in the region, with a series of intriguing design-led hotels. As its most ambitious hotel project takes shape, Professor Terry Stevens finds out more More>>


Leisure Management magazine 2016 issue 1

Leisure Management
2016 issue 1

View issue contents
View turning pages
Download PDF
  On the cover: AJ Hackett
Bungy, New Zealand More>>
  Hospitality: Wasted opportunity
Restaurants take innovative approaches to solve the problem of food surplus More>>


Published by The Leisure Media Company Ltd Portmill House, Portmill Lane, Hitchin, Herts SG5 1DJ. Tel: +44 (0)1462 431385 | Contact us | About us | © Cybertrek Ltd