Health and fitness centres deemed an essential service
Both fully vaccinated and unvaccinated people will be able to continue accessing health and fitness facilities after 17 December when Queensland reaches its COVID-19 vaccination rate of 80%. Under the Queensland Government’s vaccination road map, gyms and other health and fitness facilities are considered an essential service.
AUSactive’s CEO Barrie Elvish said the official recognition gyms and other health and fitness facilities were considered an essential service was an extraordinarily positive step forward for the industry.
“During the height of the pandemic, AUSactive relentlessly advocated for health and fitness facilities to be considered essential due to the physical and mental health benefits of keeping active, especially during challenging and uncertain times,” Mr Elvish said.
“Recognition from the Queensland Government that we are now considered essential is fantastic. We have seen a dramatic shift in the perception of our industry by health authorities and governments across Australia and its fantastic news for both the 7 million adult Australians who a visit a gym and the thousands of businesses in our industry. “
“We are no longer seen as centres filled with testosterone charged, steroid pumped men but more so as positive facilities that support both men and women to look after their physical and mental health and overall wellbeing.”
Mr Elvish said recent research commissioned by AUSactive in conjunction with Deakin University found over 50% of Australians over the age of fifteen who self-identify as partaking in regular exercise programs do so in gyms, health clubs and leisure centres.
“After recreational walking, facility-based exercise and physical activity is the most popular pastime for both males and females in Australia, representing 35% of the adult population, and the most cited reasons for participation is to improve and/or maintain good physical and mental health,” Mr Elvish said.
“It is clear that the old perceptions of people going to a gym to look good has evolved to going to the gym to feel good and maintain a strong sense of overall wellbeing.
“Health and fitness facilities also provide the opportunity to re-connect with friends, share experiences and rebuild personal resilience.”
Mr Elvish said all AUSactive members will continue to follow all Queensland Government requirements and ensure a safe environment for everyone to keep active.