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23 Dec 2021
COVID-19 risk in European fitness clubs remains 'extremely low'
By Tom Walker
COVID-19 risk in European fitness clubs remains 'extremely low'
The number of positive cases recorded from 185 million health club visits was 1,614
Photo: Shutterstock/ESB Professional
The number of positive COVID-19 cases among people who have visited health clubs across Europe continues to be at "extremely low levels".

Data from the second Safe Active report from Europe Active, covering 185 million visits across the continent, shows an overall rate of 0.87 cases per 100,000 visits, proving that health clubs and gyms are some of the safest places for people to spend time.

The total number of positive cases recorded in people who represented 185 million attendances, plus staff, was 1,614.

This number does not indicate that transmission happened in gyms and health clubs, it is simply the number of people who went on to have COVID-19 having been to a gym or health club. They could have contracted it anywhere.

Published by Europe Active in partnership with King Juan Carlos University, AWRC-Sheffield Hallam University and UK Active’s Research Institute, the report collects health club visitor data from Belgium, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, The Netherlands, Portugal, Spain and the UK.

Professor Rob Copeland, director of AWRC-Sheffield Hallam University, said: "The second Safe Active report presents important data on the contribution that the fitness and leisure sector has made to supporting health and wellbeing throughout the pandemic.

"As COVID-19 continues to cast a shadow over society, this report provides compelling evidence in support of prioritising physical activity in national policy and ensuring that facilities remain open to help sustain the physical and mental wellbeing of individuals and communities”.

Professor Alfonso Jimenez, head of Think Active – Europe Active's Research Centre – added: "Data provided by club operators suggest that fitness clubs and leisure centres, where industry standard mitigation is in place, continue to provide safe public spaces in which to exercise, with very low self-reported cases of COVID-19.

"We employed robust data collection methods and our findings are consistent with findings from public health sources”.

To access the full report, click here.

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