BOSTON, MA—April 17, 2020—IHRSA and the world's health and fitness club operators have long recognized the central and essential role health clubs, their staff, and their suppliers play in enhancing the health and wellness of the population. The entire global fitness industry applauds President Trump and the White House coronavirus task force for recognizing this and including health clubs as vital for Phase 1 of the three-part reopening plan.

“At a time when the health of the nation is under attack by the coronavirus, the health of all citizens is integral to the economic and social health of the country. We are grateful to President Trump and this administration for recognizing that the cornerstone of that health is a physically active population and that therefore, health and fitness clubs must reopen in Phase 1 along with restaurants and places of worship,” said Joe Moore, IHRSA president and CEO. “Health clubs, their staff, and their suppliers are vital to our nation’s current and long-term health,” he added.

IHRSA, the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association, sent a letter to President Trump thanking him for understanding the importance of opening health clubs and gyms. The letter, authored by Moore, and ex-officio of the IHRSA Board of Directors, Jim Worthington, a current member of the President's Council on Sports, Fitness and Nutrition, states:

  • As representatives of the entire fitness club industry—over 40,000 facilities, their hundreds of suppliers, and their million-plus employees—we are eternally grateful that you and your administration recognizes that health clubs and gyms, like churches and restaurants, provide a vital service to all Americans.
  • Including health clubs and gyms in Phase 1 of your reopening plan is vital to the mental and physical wellbeing of Americans.
  • Thank you for acknowledging that as our nation emerges from this crisis, a strong fitness industry will be an integral part of the solution to returning our citizens to a state of good health and protecting Americans from future pandemics.

Although reopening will be a slow and steady process, and will appropriately vary across the country, this is a small step in the right direction not only for the fitness industry but for the entire country.

In addition to the work by the president and White House coronavirus task force, reopening plans are being developed around the world and in the United States at the local and regional levels. IHRSA is committed to the reopening of clubs across the globe while recognizing the need to ensure the safety of our members, staff, and communities. IHRSA is working with public health organizations in the U.S. and around the world, gathering best practices and procedures based on current science, in order to create a framework for safe access to our clubs.


The International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA) is a not-for-profit trade association representing health and fitness facilities, gyms, spas, sports clubs, and suppliers worldwide. IHRSA and its members are dedicated to making the world healthier through regular exercise and activity promotion.

IHRSA maintains a leadership role in advancing physical activity, which is critical to America’s health and the battle against obesity and chronic lifestyle disease. IHRSA supports policies that promote more active lifestyles to foster a healthier, happier, more prosperous America.