OPTIMISM AMONG FITNESS INDUSTRY AS NEW DATA SHOWS POSITIVE RETURN FOR GYMS

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Gym goers across the UK raced to visit gyms as they reopened, according to new data from Gympass, showing that 97% of customers that logged on during the first week of re-opening (12th – 18th April 2021), headed directly to their local fitness facility.

The data from Gympass, the world’s largest corporate wellbeing platform, revealed that people embraced physical visits to the gym and pre-pandemic routines, with just 3% of active users over the last week opting for virtual and on-demand fitness offerings.

The switch from online to in-studio demonstrates Brits’ appetite to return to in-person exercise options. This is reinforced by new data that shows during the first week of re-opening, 34% more Gympass customers visited centres and studios than during the last reopening surge in July 2020. High consumer confidence in the safety precautions taken by leisure and fitness providers, as well as the added reassurance of the Covid-19 vaccine roll out, is proving that gyms and fitness facilities could soon be back to pre-pandemic levels of usage.

Gympass data also indicates that although a new mid-morning ‘workout hour’ was created during lockdown as employees looked to break up their workday, the lifting of lockdown and easing of restrictions has seen a return to more traditional exercise times, with Gympass members opting to head to their local facilities before the workday begins, at lunchtime or immediately after work, at 6pm.

Of the reopening data, Luke Bullen, CEO UK & Ireland at Gympass says; “We’re thrilled to see this strong surge in people returning to gyms and fitness studios. Knowing how important health and fitness is to the overall wellbeing of the population, it’s reassuring to see members of the public make exercise a priority in this way.”

“It is yet to be seen in the long run whether there will be a more hybrid approach to exercise and fitness, where on demand and virtual workouts are used as much as in-studio visits. But for now, it’s clear that people are wanting to be in the gym environment. The economic, community and social benefits of this are significant.”  

The data also shows that over four times as many Gympass customers opted to see a personal trainer in this April 2021 reopening phase, as opposed to the last reopening in July 2020, indicating that many are more open to seeking expert advice for regaining health and fitness after a year of restrictions.

Luke Bullen adds; “Of course, this data only shows gym and one-to-one visits in the studio, it doesn’t account for group exercise, as this won’t reopen in the UK until May. We hope to see another spike in activity as people head back into their community-led fitness classes to enjoy the added social element of being back in a group exercise setting.”

Gym visits are yet to reach pre-pandemic levels, with reduced capacity and other measures likely playing a part. However, a steady return is likely to be welcome news to gyms and leisure facilities across the country.

Gympass is the world’s largest corporate wellbeing platform providing millions of employees with access to over 50,000 best-in-class wellbeing partners globally.

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