A new study has found that visiting a health club presents a very low risk of catching COVID-19.
The study, conducted by the Oregon Consulting Group, used data gathered by the Colorado Department of Public Heath and Environment.
The Colorado Fitness Coalition, who released the information in a press release, said they are trying to work with public health, the Colorado General Assembly and local communities to allow gyms to either re-open or operate at higher capacity levels.
The study, which compared 32 weeks of gym attendance in Colorado, almost 8.5 million check-ins, found almost no correlation between attendance at a health club and COVID-19 case rates.
The press release stated that they “found no association to traditional gyms or fitness centers of the 59 different outbreak locations Colorado officials identified from more than 9,700 positive COVID-19 cases.”
Jon Fritz, Heart of the Rockies Regional Medical Center Wellness Coordinator, said he “thought it was pretty unbiased” and liked the way they compared other industries to give relative comparisons.
“It shows that going to the gym is relatively safe compared to other activities,” Fritz said. “The perception is a gym is full of sweat and heavy breathing, making it unsafe, but it isn’t like that.”
A similar study in New York State found that fitness centers accounted for a “low 0.06 percent” of COVID-19 infections, which lead to Governor Andrew Cuomo easing restrictions.
Colorado’s fitness industry, during a typical year, will generate about $695 million in revenue.
If current restrictions remain in place, the state could lose an estimated 200 gyms, 22,000 jobs and $12 million in payroll taxes.
Fritz said the hospital has its own gym, which is for employees and patients with special issues, which was shut down from March through May, and since then has been used at a limited capacity, with cleaning between uses and requiring users to sign in to track a possible outbreak.
He said that they also have an outside area that is still being used, despite the winter weather.