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Europe-wide study adds to growing evidence that regulated gyms are safe spaces

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The latest study into the infection rates recorded at gyms has shown that the average infection rate at gyms and health clubs across Europe sits at just 0.78 per 100.000 visits.

An analysis of data from 62 million visits to European gyms in the past month – conducted by the King Juan Carlos University in Spain and Sheffield Hallam University – showed that there were just 487 positive cases of Covid-19.

The SafeACTiVE study, commissioned by EuropeActive's Research Centre THINK Active, looked at data from operators based in 14 countries – Germany, France, Sweden, Belgium, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Norway, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Poland, Denmark, Luxembourg and The UK.

The results should go a long way to mitigate public health concerns, as it seems to confirm that fitness clubs are safe environments with a relatively low risk of Covid-19 infection.

Rob Copeland, director of the Advanced Wellbeing Research Centre (AWRC) at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “Data from the SafeACTiVE Study shows that gyms across the EU are a safe place to exercise.

"The prevention of further spread of Covid-19 has to be our primary objective but we also need to ensure that our communities have support and opportunity to remain active.

"We know that being physically fit can help reduce the severity of Covid-19 infection and moreover being active can help us cope psychologically when faced with the challenges of a second wave of the pandemic across Europe."

Copeland added that governments across the continent should consider the study's results when deciding any future lockdown measures which could affect gyms.

"Keeping leisure centres and fitness clubs open and fully operational is critical to ensuring the health and wellbeing of our communities," Copeland said.

"I would go further and suggest that governments across Europe should be thinking about how we can increase access to activity, not reduce it, as we learn to live with Covid-19”.

Prof. Alfonso Jimenez, head of THINK Active, added: "Such a low level of infection risk in fitness and health clubs reinforces the message that fitness and physical activity are a fundamental part of the solution during the Covid-19 pandemic in helping strengthen and improve immune functioning and lower risk of viral illness".

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The latest study into the infection rates recorded at gyms has shown that the average infection rate at gyms and health clubs across Europe sits at just 0.78 per 100.000 visits.
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