People in the Netherlands believe health clubs offer an 'essential service'
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People in the Netherlands believe health clubs offer an 'essential service'

Study asked people in the Netherlands about the importance of health clubs
People expect their physical and mental health to improve, once health clubs reopen
More than half questioned the decision to close health clubs and leisure centres during lockdowns
Industry body says study proves how crucial physical activity facilities are for improving the health of a nation
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The vast majority of the population of the Netherlands expect their physical and mental health to improve, once

health clubs reopen following the pandemic lockdowns.

An independent study, commissioned by industry body NL Actief, showed that nine out of ten respondents believe fitness facilities are important for public health and that they play a positive role in people's mental and physical health.

The study asked people's views on the importance of gyms – and also gauged their opinions on the differences between exercising at home and at the gym.

While at-home fitness has experienced a boom during the pandemic, it seems that – at least in people's minds – it's no substitute for a gym environment, as around three in four (73 per cent) said that health clubs provided them with the motivation to exercise.

What's more, 92.6 per cent of respondents said they expect the population to become fitter once gyms reopen.

More than half (54 per cent) of those responding to the study also questioned the decision to close health clubs and leisure centres in the first place – at a time when staying fit and healthy is particularly beneficial.

NL Actief director, Ronald Wouters, said the study proved how crucial physical activity facilities are for improving the health of a nation.

"Sport is not recreation, but an important factor for public health – now more than ever," he said.

"Sport and exercise should therefore be part of our essential service provision."

To read more about the NL Actief study (in Dutch), click here.

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The vast majority of the population of the Netherlands expect their physical and mental health to improve, once health clubs reopen following the pandemic lockdowns.
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