Photo credit: Kay Wiese
The cold winter months have arrived and the possibility of comfortable outdoor classes is decreasing daily, as a result, the importance of making members feel comfortable indoors has taken on incredible importance. In the first nationwide poll of CrossFit athletes powered by Morning Chalk Up, Triib and TrueCoach and conducted by 0ptimus Analytics, a Washington D.C.-based political data firm, from September 18 — October 19, 2020, responses revealed, among other things, how gym members felt about cleanliness and health safety measures during the pandemic.
The key numbers:
- 63% said they feel safe returning to their gym.
- 84.6% said they felt their gym was doing a somewhat good job or very good job maintaining cleanliness and meeting health and safety standards.
- 91.4% said that it was somewhat important or very important for others to wipe down gym equipment after each workout.
- 48.4% said they would leave their gym if safety standards weren’t being observed.
One big statistic: Over 50% of people said that they would feel more comfortable if everyone at the gym was wearing a mask.
- While state mandates have begun to enforce restrictions requiring many gyms to institute mask policies, some have been left to make the decision themselves.
- A common sentiment on social media and in many gyms is that mandatory mask-wearing will cause members to leave due to the discomfort the mask causes while working out, the statistics prove otherwise.
- Only 39% of people believed that wearing a mask would not stop the spread of COVID-19.
- Moreover, only 37.7% of respondents said that they would stop going to the gym if a mask was required.
More than just masks: While the wearing of masks was an important factor in people’s comfort levels indoors, the importance of keeping equipment and workout space clean has become more important both to gym owners and coaches as well as athletes.
- Before COVID-19, only 25% of respondents reported that their gym practiced equipment sanitization between workouts that they felt was adequate.
- Since COVID-19, that number has risen to 84.2% of participants responding that their gym regularly wipes down and sanitizes equipment between classes.
- Moreover, with 72% of respondents working out regularly at their gyms, it seems that cleanliness has played an important role in their return to the gym.
- 62.9% of respondents said their gym was doing a very good job meeting health and safety standards in a post-COVID world and 21.7% more said their gym was doing a somewhat good job.
The big picture: While the re-opening of gyms has been a difficult road for all gym owners to navigate, one thing remains clear: Making sure that gyms are following health, safety, and cleanliness protocols to the best of their ability will be a key factor in people’s comfort levels in returning to the gym, especially as winter months draw athletes back indoors.