In March, gyms and fitness studios closed due to the coronavirus. But now some countries are looking to relax guidelines, which raises the following questions regarding gyms safety operation procedures..
How can gyms protect their members?
Clear instructions must be well understood by your clients regarding their safety measures, before entering the facility, clients and employees should complete a “health declaration” before each visit to confirm they have not been experiencing COVID-19 symptoms or come into contact with anyone who has. Plus, they will be scanned for body temperature and informed with the social distancing instructions which are leaving at least 6 feet distance between each other or with the trainers and avoiding physical contact. Less number of clients and workers must be allowed to exercise or work each hour to be able to implement the required social distancing. Disinfectant materials should be abundant for hand disinfection and cleaning the machines and equipment before and after usage, this would alleviate any issues with people having to gather or wait around a centralized location to have access to cleaning supplies. Clients should be wearing masks if possible when exercising in closed spaces and gyms should prepare and encourage more outdoor workouts to avoid the risk of infection spread. Finally, personal hygiene tips labels regarding repeated hand washing and coughing or sneezing correctly must be stated and hanged on several places as a safety reminders.
What would need to be done for fitness classes to resume?
The most important factor is making sure people have enough distance between one another, making sure the common touch areas are cleaned frequently, and just advising people to wash their hands as much as possible. Besides, it will be safer to move the classes to outdoor areas to ensure good ventilation.
What are the cleaning and disinfection policies needed for safe reopening?
Gyms should schedule specific working hours for their clients separated by temporarily disinfection intervals, for example: every two working hours are followed with one hour closing for cleaning and disinfection. Consequently, all members will be required to book an appointment to enter the gym or club for continuous control of numbers and emptying the clients during cleaning hours, in other words, clients will not be able to simply walk into the gym anytime of the day. Gyms cannot rely only on their clients for applying safety percussions, housekeeping members must be well educated with all the necessary infection control information and procedures. All housekeeping members must be wearing gloves, masks and protective gowns if necessary for their protection as well as applying hygienic instructions. Specific trash baskets must be available everywhere in the gym for masks, gloves or tissue used to be separated and cautiously get rid of it safely.
How can gyms make sure they’re keeping their staff and personal trainers safe?
Working hours must be divided between trainers to decrease the number of people present and allow social distancing. With personal training, instructions for trainers to avoid touching their clients, doing hand hygiene, trying to stay six feet apart and wearing face mask during sessions which make it safer to do so. Sales, marketing, finances and other staff teams should continue working from home if possible with fewer employees working on desk after the reopening.
Should I reorganize my gym to ensure safe environment for my staff and clients?
The answer is yes, machines should be placed 6 feet apart, as well as exercise equipment. Locker rooms and showers must be redesigned to allow more space between each user and allowing lesser number of people to enter to avoid gatherings at such spaces.
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Because exercise is a key element of staying healthy, a lot of fitness facilities are eager to reopen the doors and welcome their members back as soon as possible. However, safety polices must be created and applied strictly to ensure a safe return to your clients, associates and partners.
Q&A: How can gyms make sure they’re keeping their staff and personal trainers safe?
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