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Gym-Goers Eager To Return Immediately When Facilities Reopen

empty gym

A repeat of Leisure-net’s Post Lockdown Recovery Survey reveals consumer confidence about returning to facilities is extremely high, with well over three quarters (76.34%) of members questioned saying they will return immediately when the doors to their health club or leisure centre are open.

The new research, sponsored by Active IQ, followed the lines of Leisure-net’s initial survey back in April, aiming to gauge consumer confidence following a second spell of closure for UK health clubs and leisure centres. 

The survey questioned 33,544 customers across 771 facilities in the UK, and the results can be cross referenced by age, gender, operator type and region.

A total of 25,606 members stated they will return to their exercise facility immediately after lockdown, demonstrating the importance placed on getting back to indoor exercise.

Respondents also demonstrated faith in their operator’s ability to keep them safe whilst exercising, with more than 69% of those who returned between July and November expressing great confidence in their facility’s Covid related systems, processes and practices.

Additional questions regarding the value of staff were included, with 66% rating the friendliness of staff as very important, the 63% stating the support and guidance of the fitness and group exercise team is very important.

Jenny Patrickson, Managing Director of Active IQ says: “The survey findings really reinforce how much members value the staff who work at their local leisure facility.

It proves once again that soft skills, such as being friendly and approachable, are equally important for PTs and instructors as their knowledge and guidance in an exercise and wellness setting.

“The research bears this out, showing the importance of personal interaction and empathy, especially in the current climate where reassurance and support are needed.  Operators should not be surprised by these findings, but it does no harm to remind ourselves that despite all the challenges, our industry must maintain its ‘people first’ stance.”

Dave Monkhouse, Leisure-net Director says: “The initial survey results have been widely used to inform decision making, lobby local and central Government and shape re opening guidance by organisations such as Sport England, ukactive, Community Leisure UK and CIMSPA. 

Operators up and down the country also used the results to inform their decisions, maximise the impact of re-opening and reframe post-Covid activity.“This second survey provides further evidence to underpin our sector’s campaign for recognition as an essential service, as well as supporting operators with their decisions on when and how to reopen their facilities. 

The new consumer confidence scores from this second survey will be used by 4global to inform the modelling of new projections for the sector.”