The re-opening of gyms will play a vital role in helping to improve the health and wellbeing of the population after the negative health effects brought on by Covid-19. It is crucial that gym owners manage this safely and effectively. Members may be worried about returning to the gym, so it’s important to reassure them and your staff that the gym is safe and sanitised. We want to help you achieve this with a few of our top tips.
In order to cover all bases, it might be useful to consider the customer journey of the gym user, from start to finish.
In the lead up to and during the reopening of gyms, communication is vital. Provide clear information about the new procedures in place so all members are aware of what to expect. For example, this may include emailing all members informing them that changing rooms/bathrooms are not open, so it is best they arrive in their gym wear. Other useful information may include cleaning protocols, opening hours, reduced capacity, new booking procedures etc.
For staff, a team meeting and relevant training may be useful before the gym opens, to ensure everyone is aware of new processes and procedures in place. Members and staff should be advised that if they do not feel well or have any Covid19 symptoms, that they stay at home and follow government guidance.
Ensure there is a clear and safe process for entering the gym. This includes a clear entrance with queue markings for busier times and hand sanitising stations on arrival. It may also be beneficial to include posters and information leaflets for members so they are fully informed about any changes in the gym.
A one-way system is essential to ensure social distancing between members. Map out a visible pathway for members to walk through, that doesn’t involve crossing-paths. Rearranging or removal of gym equipment and machines may be required to ensure there is 2meters between each, so clearly mark any equipment that is not in use, using stickers, posters or tape.
Cleaning stations (and waste bins) should be easily accessible in all areas of the gym, with hand sanitiser, anti-bacterial sprays and cloths. Members should be encouraged to wipe down all equipment once finished with, particularly those machines with buttons, knobs and touch screens. With increased cleaning of equipment, it is important not to spray the cleaning solutions straight onto the equipment, but onto the paper towel/cloth and use that to wipe down the equipment to avoid damage.
(Image courtesy of PureGym)
In free weights areas, mark out sections on the floor using BLK BOX Heavy Duty Vinyl Roll to create designated areas for each member. Signage should be clear to remind members that social distancing guidelines should be followed and to avoid any exercises that require a spotter or partner. It is particularly important that group classes are reduced in size to ensure social distancing and that all equipment is within reach for each user to avoid sharing. For small group training sessions, our PT Pods and SG pods are ideal.
We would recommend when exiting the gym, members are not within 2 meters of those entering. Where possible, have a separate door for entering and exiting, and where this is not possible, ensure there is a process set up to adhere to social distancing e.g. different arrival and exit times.
Don't forget any machines with moving parts and mechanisms may have dried up so check these all before use and oil if required. Check all batteries are fully charged before use as they may have drained over time.
It is still a very uncertain time for some people who are returning to the gym. While it is likely that not everyone may return straight away, it’s important to make it as safe a place as possible for those who do.