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 News | Jobs | Sign up for our free e-zine 13 June 2021 
01 Jun 2021
Survey confirms huge takeup of digital during lockdowns
By Tom Walker
Survey confirms huge takeup of digital during lockdowns
The majority of fitness studios have been training members outdoors
Photo: Shutterstock/NDAB Creativity
The combining of physical and digital has been playing an important role in membership-based fitness businesses, according to a new global customer survey by Virtuagym.

The survey looked at gyms, fitness studios and personal trainers that use Virtuagym services from the beginning of 2021.

It shows that, during the first three months of 2021, more than two thirds (69 per cent) of fitness businesses had to close their doors.

During those months nearly half (45 per cent) of health clubs and a third of fitness studios (32 per cent) and PTs (36 per cent) used technology to provide home workout content.

In addition, half of studios (49 per cent) and 40 per cent of clubs and personal trainers used digital apps to provide virtual training.

The same number of health clubs also engaged with members through one-to-one online coaching and live streaming of classes.

Tech proved essential in maintaining a sense of community among members, with nearly two-thirds (60 per cent) of health clubs and more than half of studios (54 per cent) offering online group classes, while 50 per cent of clubs used in-app community features.

This rise in group fitness extended to the outdoors, with the majority of fitness studios (86 per cent) training members in parks and over 40 per cent of health clubs and personal trainers working out in front of their facilities.

Wearable technology has also been proving invaluable, with more than half (51 per cent) of gyms and 45 per cent of personal trainers using fitness trackers to assist clients in meeting their fitness goals during periods of restriction.

Tech played a role when it came to streamlining business efficiencies and ensuring compliance with COVID-19 regulations – more than two thirds (69 per cent) of health clubs used digital check-ins, online class bookings and attendance tracking.

Virtuagym's Hugo Braam said: "We believe technology will be a real game-changer for the fitness industry, it can enable operators large and small to deliver varied and personalised experiences to keep clients feeling motivated and ultimately really improving their physical and mental wellbeing”.

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