THINK Active independent assessment – Final report revealing low Covid-19 risk in fitness clubs

THINK Active independent assessment – Final report revealing low Covid-19 risk in fitness clubs
Brussels, Belgium, 16th December 2020

*Information and report embargoed until 9.00 CET Thursday 17th December 2020

EuropeActive, the leading voice and non-profit association for the European fitness and physical activity sector, is pleased to announce that results from total sample data collected by SafeACTiVE survey platform and ukactive Research Institute have revealed low levels of Covid-19 risk in fitness clubs and leisure facilities. With more than 115 million visits analysed, the average infection rate sits at 1.12 per 100.000 visits. 

Research and evaluation partners have collected data based on more than 115 million visits to fitness clubs and leisure facilities with only 1,288 positive cases of both members -1,092- and staff -196- reported from 4,360 fitness clubs and leisure centres based in Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg and the United Kingdom.

The report, commissioned by EuropeActive’s Research Centre THINK Active, included data from the SafeACTiVE survey platform and ukactive Research Institute collected over a 6-month period. Data collection methods and information used are consistent with findings from public health authorities.

The final report seeks to ensure that our sector posseses the right evidence-based arguments to document our facilities’ safety and low Covid-19 risk in order to mitigate the public health concerns of both users and members. It also represents an essential tool for keeping our physical facilities and places of business open to avoid the negative health impact during any future outbreaks of infectious diseases.

The director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre at Sheffield Hallam University Prof. Rob Copeland stated that “we are delighted to have worked with colleagues at King Juan Carlos University and ukactive Research Institute on the THINK Active independent assessment. This research attempts to understand to what extent the industry has created the conditions to ensure safe and accessible facilities for people to remain physically active during the pandemic”.

“Building on previous studies, the findings paint a positive picture with low numbers of reported cases across European operators. We also highlight the need to continue to find ways to ensure that fitness clubs and leisure facilities are accessible to all and this should continue to be the primary focus of the sector as it plays a key role in the recovery from Covid-19”, he concluded.

Prof. Alfonso Jimenez, head of THINK Active, also commented that “we identified significant attempts to implement best practice in reducing Covid-19 transmission in venues following industry guidelines. Our data, coming from more than 115 million visits, shows a stable flat trend on reported cases at fitness clubs and leisure centres independently of the evolution of the pandemic across each of the 14 countries included in our sample, taking into consideration the collective pandemic situation in these countries or the particular situation in each of them. 

He elaborated on the flat trend by saying that “it was especially relevant when the second wave of infections hit all over Europe. Keeping people active is essential during the pandemic, especially in light of data suggesting that regular physical activity has a positive impact on immune function and in helping to protect our body from viral infections”.

To access the full report, click here.

The report has been made possible thanks to the generous support of Exerp, ExorLive, Life Fitness, Matrix, Myzone and Technogym.

Detailed information for press and commercial use can be requested from Carlos Fernández, via communications@europeactive.eu. Photos, logos and other materials supporting this press release are also available via the aforementioned email address.