Does going to the gym increase your risk of catching corona virus or COVID 19

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Do gyms pose an increased risk from COVID 19?

It’s the big question and up till now we’ve been told that gyms are hazardous areas that breed viruses and that’s why they are still closed

There’s so much about being ‘guided by science’ and the science has been largely speculative


So in walks a study from Oslo ready to mic drop with some actual SCIENCE

The study consisted of 3764 people who were split into 2 groups.
1896 went to the gym. 1868 didn’t.
Apart from the gym workouts both groups led their normal lives during the pandemic and so would have gone to shops and other places where they may have been exposed to the virus.
It should be noted that the ‘at risk’ groups were excluded from the trial eg individuals with diabetes, over 65 years old and anyone with cardiovascular issues.
Therefore the testing group both gym and non gym were normal healthy people with no confounding issues for their health.
Hygiene protocols were not excessive and were in line with best practices.
  • Hand washing encouraged
  • Regular cleaning of equipment by staff
  • Customers encouraged to clean their equipment with available sprays and wipes
  • Limiting of attendance to avoid overcrowding
  • 1m distance rule on gym floor
  • 2m distance rule in classes
  • Customers told to stay at home if they felt unwell or exhibited symptoms

So this is not the white hazmat suit cleaning protocols that many people seem to think gyms need to open.

It is sensible, practical cleaning routines and application of social distancing.  Coupled with a compliance from customers to respect hygiene procedures this appeared to reduce the risk down to a very low level

What were the results?

The results of the trial were surprising.  You’d expect the gym group to have a higher risk and therefore more cases of COVID.
After 3 weeks there was only 1 case confirmed in the gym group.  Even more surprising was that this was contact traced back to the individual’s workplace and not the gym.

What does this mean for UK gyms?

There has been a lot made of ‘being guided by science’ in the last 16 weeks.

Up till now there has been no actual evidence of the gym environment to go on and so quite rightly the government has had to look at models and estimates.

There has also been trial locations in some parts of the UK which have tested out cleaning and operating protocols.

However now here is a clear scientific evaluation of the actual risks and results of those risks being mitigated by effective hygiene procedures.

If the UK government is going to continue to be guided by science then it must start to consider the scientific results of a gym study which has shown zero increased risk to healthy individuals from going to the gym.

Keeping fit and healthy fights COVID 19

It has been stated that keeping in good health and building muscular strength is a key positive step in fighting any possible COVID 19 infection.

Gyms are part of this fight, building strength from resistance training and keeping good cardio vascular health from classes and cardio are healthy endeavours and should be encouraged, not restricted.

With this new research available, gyms should be allowed to re open provided they can meet the minimum criteria as laid out above for best practice.

The argument for keeping gyms shut is becoming less water tight every day.  In fact with ZERO evidence to show that gyms would spread the virus more rapidly is there even an argument now?

It’s time to ditch the rhetoric that gyms are unhealthy, dirty, virus ridden buildings and start recognising that keeping fit and healthy is actually proven to combat COVID 19
As a gym owner I do understand WHY gyms aren’t opening on 4th July as opening up the whole country at once would be unsafe. 
However, to keep gyms shut much after 4th July holds no scientific backing in light of this new research.

The government states it wants to be guided by science.  It’s time to be guided by science and open up gyms for the good of the country.

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