The lounge room has become the most ‘active’ venue in Australia with a surge in people switching to virtual training to keep fit during isolation, with data showing the fitness industry is doing whatever it can to keep people moving while also generating new sources of income to keep businesses operating.
A recent survey by Fitness Australia found more than 52% of business member respondents and 39% of personal trainers/sole trader member respondents have been able to adapt their offering and switch to virtual training options for their clients and members, since gyms closed on 23 March 2020.
This Easter long weekend, Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish is encouraging all Aussies to keep active at home with the help of a great range of virtual training options available from its member network through the Keep on Moving campaign.
“Isolating is the most important thing we need to be doing this Easter long weekend, but that doesn’t mean we have to stop exercising. There are many fantastic benefits of exercise, from supporting our immune function to helping with our mental wellbeing and our overall health. Keeping all of these in balance has never been more important than now,” Mr Elvish said.
“Across the Fitness Australia network, we have hundreds of businesses and personal trainers who have developed free and paid apps, virtual group sessions and on demand workouts to ensure people can still workout, keep motivated and engaged with their regular fitness group.”
While many gyms, fitness studios and personal trainers have been able to adapt their offering by moving online, there has been a significant drop in engagement compared to pre-COVID-19.
Data collected from survey respondents found personal trainers/sole traders pre-COVID-19 were conducting 32 exercise sessions on average per week. Since the closure of gyms, the number of sessions has decreased significantly, dropping to an average of eight virtual or 1:1 outdoor sessions per week.
In the week prior to gym closures, business member respondents had an average of 974 individuals attend their gym/facility. However, since 23 March 2020 this has dropped to an average of 80 individuals participating in alternative exercise services such as virtual training or 1:1 outdoor training each week.
Mr Elvish said although there has been a decrease in “business as usual” numbers it was encouraging to see many people continuing with their regular routine, while also seeing a positive response from the broader community who are looking for ways to keep active and busy in isolation.
“As an industry it is fantastic to see the community continuing to keep active and find new ways of exercising – including virtual training, taking a daily walk with one other person, or being creative by swapping kettlebells for washing liquid bottles or other heavy items around the home,” Mr Elvish said.
“Not only is it keeping Aussies moving, it’s also enabling the industry to continue operating at some degree which is keeping people in jobs,” Mr Elvish said.
To find out more about the Keep on Moving campaign and access information on local 1:1 fitness options, free and paid virtual training and tips on working out at home, visit keeponmoving.fitness.org.au.