Impact of COVID-19 on the Gym and Fitness Industry

covid 19 and Fitness industryThere is no doubt the impact of COVID-19 on many service industries has been dramatic and those in the gym and fitness industry have had to adapt to changing times. In an attempt to stop the spread of COVID-19 and having to isolate from others, it can be too easy, whilst in lock-down to lose one’s daily routine that in normal circumstance provides one with their health and wellness routine. From gyms to yoga studios to swimming pools having to adjust their services, it is important as an individual to continue one’s exercise routine from home as it will reduce anxiety and stress and help to maintain a level of good mental health.

From 24 hour gyms having, at times to adjust to being a 24 hour fitness outdoor gym, conducting classes in parks and gardens and people’s homes (with restrictions), since the onset of COVID-19 we have seen many variations on allowable gym and fitness training and attendance.

Let’s take a moment to discuss three fitness trends for 2021:

Despite the significant impact on the gym and fitness industry, COVID-19 has given a boost to digital workouts (not a new phenomenon) with customers flocking to online training, this has potentially provided fitness instructors with a new string to their bow.

1. Virtual Fitness

Combining exercise and technology, virtual classes are classes provided to you in the comfort of your home, or with friends, pretty much anywhere where you have a good internet connection. Live classes are held at set times and are provided by your fitness professional and is done via a video hosting platform like Zoom. Members at home can use their own weights, or mats or improvise or alternatively they could borrow weights from the gym itself.  Workouts can include gym sessions, yoga, Pilates classes and more. Some would argue if you are a newbie when it comes to training in the gym, that this is a perfect way to begin, not having to walk into a gym packed with seasoned gym goers.

Alternatively gym members can attend on-demand sessions in the comfort of their home and this is provided to them by the gym as a link they can again access via a hosting platform such as Zoom. The distinct advantage is the ability for the gym to provide 24 hour fitness classes to its clientele.

If you are a trainer or gym owner and you do plan on training clients remotely, you must providing this form of fitness to your clients, you need to be aware of the most appropriate form and level of insurance required to adequately cover any potential risks. Your clients’ safety during the delivery of these online sessions is essential and you must minimize the risk of injury and potential legal claims of negligence.

So if injury prevention is paramount, then a risk management strategy needs to be implemented.  This should include an evaluation of physical, financial or legal risks with a strategy devised to mitigate those risks.  As a personal trainer helping client’s reach their fitness goals is important as is the prevention of injury whilst training.

It is important to advise clients prior to virtual training to:

  • Wear loose, comfortable clothing
  • Train in a well ventilated room
  • Remove any potentially dangerous objects from the room
  • Ensure they have water prior to training
  • Ensure any equipment needed is set out as it should be, ready for use
  • Train at their own pace
  • Stop if they feel any pain
  • Provide thorough instruction throughout the class

2. Gym or Fitness Studio insurance Solutions

As a personal trainer it’s important to have the appropriate level of professional indemnity insurance and public liability insurance. Professional indemnity insurance covers you for alleged breaches such as a claim of professional negligent advice when providing online or virtual training sessions.  If for example, you were providing a live online gym class via Zoom and one of your clients was injured, the client could allege negligence on your part.

3. Public Liability Insurance

Public Liability Insurance is for impacts to a third party (member of the public) that may result from negligence by you or your staff, such as failing to demonstrate reasonable care for others, resulting in injury to a member of the public.  An example of this could be when conducting a gym session in an outdoor setting and failing to properly show reasonable care when doing so and a member of the public falls over a weight on the ground.

When deciding on insurance for your gym business given the current environment with COVID-19, it’s important to know you not only have the right insurance product but the correct level of insurance.  For more information on personal trainer insurance contact Gym Insurance HQ. We connect you to over 170 local and international insurers to help find the best products for your requirements. Call us at 1300 815 344 or write at info@inshq.com.au.