Articles and studies on low covid-19 infection risks in fitness centres

Here you can find current press releases on the low COVID-19 infection risk in gyms.

What is the risk of contracting coronavirus through contact with objects and surfaces? Very low – as new studies show.

What is the real risk of contracting SARS-CoV-2 from surfaces that are frequently touched by many people? Two studies to which the Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology (Eawag) contributed show that there is no cause for concern: The probability of contracting SARS-CoV-2 by this route is much lower than by many other routes.
To investigate, biologists tested nearly 350 samples on the surface of store doors, dumpster lids, ATMs, gasoline pump guns and pedestrian push buttons from April to June 2020. In 29 samples, i.e. eight percent of the cases, the genetic material of the virus was actually detected. So they were positive. However, the concentrations were so low that scientists consider the probability of infection from these contaminated areas to be very low: “In less than 5 cases out of 10,000, this amount would be sufficient,” says Timothy Julian of Eawag’s Environmental Microbiology department. The study was led by two female researchers at Tufts University in Somerville, a town of 80,000 people on the outskirts of Boston, USA.

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SafeActive study – Data on Europe-wide study published

As European society moves through the second wave of COVID-19, it is essential for the European health and fitness industry association, and EuropeActive’s national fitness associations in particular, to have the facts to determine whether fitness facilities are safe for public use during the pandemic.
Thus, in collaboration with different research groups from Spain and England, the present study was conducted in order to collect relevant data and provide information on safety in fitness facilities. During a period of six months, the research groups collected the visit numbers and positively reported Corona cases of visitors from 14 countries in 63,000 fitness facilities and then evaluated them statistically.

The data available is a total of 115,384,737 visits to health clubs and leisure centres over 25 weeks (May to the end of October). There was a rate of positive reported COVID-19 cases of 1.12/100,000 visits (from 1,092 reported cases from members and 196 reported cases from staff). The data show a stable flat trend in reported cases in health clubs/leisure centres and are independent of the sometimes exponential trend in the number of cases in the general population in each of the 14 countries. This flat trend is particularly relevant with regard to the second wave.
Furthermore, the data collection showed that significant measures were taken to implement protection concepts according to industry guidelines to reduce COVID-19 transmission in the plants.

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SafeACTiVE study – preliminary results show extremely low risk of Covid 19 in fitness clubs

This article summarizes a recently published study that was carried out in European cooperation. The study shows once again how low the actual reports of positively tested gym-goers are. From 62 million visits to gyms in 13 European countries, an infection rate of 0.78 per 100,000 visits was determined. Two renowned universities evaluated the data collected. In this article, the director of one of the two universities emphasizes the importance of fitness in mitigating the progression of the disease and once again calls for continued access to fitness through fitness centers for all citizens rather than making it more difficult.

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SafeACTiVE study’ provides independent figures on infection risk in the studio

As part of the digital European Health & Fitness Forum 2020 (EHFF), EuropeActive has unveiled for the first time a new project to provide independent figures on the actual risk of COVID-19 infection in Europe’s gyms and health clubs. The project aims to provide independent and objective figures on the risk of infection in European gyms. Although the full analysis will not be completed until the end of October, there were already good news for the industry: In view of their initial findings (which have so far only been presented online as part of the EHFF 2020), the study’s authors assume that the risk in the studios is significantly lower than is currently being discussed in many places in the media.

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Manifesto for sports centres to continue to actively contribute to the system to combat COVID19, both in the prevention of infection and in the recovery of those affected.

A statement from the National Federation of Sports Facilities FNEID and the Espana Activa Foundation assesses the situation around Covid-19 and visits to gyms as follows: A recent study from England shows that for every 100,000 visits to gyms, only 0.34 positive cases of Corona can be detected. These results are in line with a study at the University of Madrid, which will run until October and whose results will be published in the next few weeks. The protection program in the Spanish studios is very extensive and, according to current knowledge, is rigidly adhered to. The opinion concludes with five points that summarize the relevance of gyms for the Spanish population as facilities for immune-boosting activities and to increase general health in the fight against covid-19.

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Health clubs do not spread COVID-19, study finds

After 49.4 million visits to American gyms in three months since reopening, only a small percentage of Covid-19 cases have been detected. This is according to an American study that collected data from 2,873 fitness centers. The CEO of IHRSA’s International Health, Racquet&Sportsclub Association confirms that other Covid-19 cases within the population are 500 times that percentage within the same age groups. This article also emphasizes the importance of gyms in building and maintaining the immune system, especially in the fight against Covid-19.

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Gym owners don’t understand the government’s decision to…

For every 25 million visits to French gyms, there were only 200 members who tested positive. The article expresses incomprehension about the government’s decision to close gyms again in some areas. The surveyed numbers of only 0.76 covid cases per 100,000 visits give sports facility representatives the talking points to push back against the decision on social media and television shows. They see jobs at risk and the fitness and health of many French people affected by this decision.

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The fitness and leisure sector reports a COVID rate of 0.34 per 100,000 visits since reopening in England

This article looks at the attendance figures at gyms since they reopened in England at the end of July, and the number of people who tested positive who had exercised at the gyms immediately before their diagnosis. Authorities believe the infections occurred outside the gyms and the virus was not spread by these individuals inside the centers. The article identifies gyms as a very important sector to increase the fitness of the population in England and thus also to strengthen the immune system in the fight against Covid-19.

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Gyms are not a hotspot for COVID-19: Industry questions recent commentary

In this article, Fitness Australia CEO Barrie Elvish is critical of the prejudice that gyms are hotspots of Covid-19 proliferation. For him, categorizing it as a hotspot is inaccurate and damaging to the industry. Since reopening on June 13, there have been 6.26 million visits and no transmissions of the covid virus. According to him, the importance of the fitness industry is in maintaining mental fitness as well as strengthening the immune system and general well-being.

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Sweat as a carrier of COVID-19 in the gym?

Can COVID-19 be transmitted through sweat in the gym or not? The International Society for Hyperhidrosis (Excessive Sweating) has investigated this myth. The shocker: Not only is it so far considered unlikely by experts that COVID-19 viruses are actually found in significant quantities in the sweat glands – above all, experts make it clear in this article that sweat has an extremely high antimicrobiotic effect due to its high nitrate content. The nitrate is chemically altered on contact with the skin and air, producing nitrite oxide as a by-product: Known as a highly potent antimicrobial that kills viruses, fungi and bacteria alike. The proven routes of transmission are contact with aerosols, droplets or the secretions of mucous membranes containing the virus. The clear message of this article: So far, there is only circumstantial evidence that makes a transmission of COVID-19 in sweat unlikely and rather argues for the opposite: sweat can help to prevent a COVID-19 infection.

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Physical fitness and COVID-19: Staying healthy through fitness training

In his article, Prof. Dr. Arne Morsch (DHfPG) explains what contribution fitness studios can make as competent health partners in the context of prevention. Studies have shown that physical training in particular can increase the activity of T-cells, which in the case of an immune response to infection with Covid-19 determines the severity of the course of the disease. In addition, regular fitness training protects against diseases of the cardiovascular system and metabolism. Good physical fitness can thus be considered an important protective factor of health.

How can these findings be placed in the current situation?

Good physical fitness provides an important basis for successful disease management and is an important protective factor against serious courses of infectious diseases such as Covid-19. Since it can be assumed that the Corona pandemic will continue to occupy us for some time to come, even previously untrained persons as well as persons with pre-existing conditions (after a medical check-up) should become physically active in order to create the best possible conditions for a favourable course of the disease in the event of infection. To this end, it is necessary to offer as many people as possible the opportunity for professionally guided training, for example in fitness and health facilities.

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