Each week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden will bring you his most important topics of the moment in a short five-minute video as part of an ongoing series called “Take 5.”

IHRSA’s Take 5: A Rise in Bad Habits [VIDEO]

This week, IHRSA interim President & CEO Brent Darden shares results from several surveys further revealing the pandemic’s impact on well-being. Brent also talks about a new COVID-19 risk calculator, ACE’s new campaign, and more!

  • March 31, 2021

If you’re feeling a little round in the belly, you’re not alone. According to an article in MedPage Today, Americans saw a steady weight gain of 1.5 pounds every month once stay-at-home orders went into effect.

In this week’s Take 5, Brent takes a look at some of the unhealthy habits that might have contributed to that weight gain, including an increase in overeating compounded by a decrease in physical activity.

But perhaps the American Council on Exercise’s new campaign “Moving Together Outside” can help combat this increase in unhealthy eating and inactivity?

Brent also encourages health clubs to participate in IHRSA's annual Global Report, shares a new tool to calculate COVID-19 risk factors, and welcomes four new members to the IHRSA Board of Directors.

  • 0:29 - 2021 IHRSA Global Report: Examining the Impact of COVID-19
  • 1:02 - COVIDAge Risk Calculator Developed by Everist Health
  • 1:37 - American Health Habits in Pandemic Times: Surveys
  • 3:21 - Moving Together Outside: From ACE
  • 4:33 - IHRSA Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

Full Transcript

One year into the pandemic, the fitness industry is still dealing with the impact, of course, of gym closures amid changing restrictions, and many Americans have found it increasingly difficult to stay active. This week, we take a look into the unhealthy habits developed during the pandemic and a new campaign that's looking to make physical activity more accessible. Thanks for joining me for another IHRSA Take 5, sponsored by Precor.

2021 IHRSA Global Report: Examining the Impact of COVID-19 on Industry

IHRSA’s annual Global Report provides a comprehensive overview of health club markets worldwide. The 2021 edition will examine the severe impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fitness industry and will highlight hundreds of leading club companies from all around the world. To submit your company's information, complete our brief survey at the link below by April 16. Everyone who completes the survey will receive a pdf of the 2021 report when it's published later in July.

COVIDAge Risk Calculator Developed by Everist Health

Everist Health developed the COVIDAge Risk Calculator, which is really cool and it provides an estimate of risk for complications of COVID-19 including hospitalization, ICU admission, and risk of mortality based on factors such as your age, your weight, [and] underlying health conditions. The tool is really designed to provide awareness of COVID-19 complications and help individuals make informed decisions about their physical health and lifestyle.

American Health Habits in Pandemic Times: Surveys

Advanced Dermatology recently surveyed over 2,000 Americans to provide more insights on what healthy and unhealthy habits they've developed since the pandemic began. They found that 74% of Americans wish they had taken better care of themselves during the pandemic and that 61% of respondents say they have actually gained weight. Those same respondents also shared that coping with stress and anxiety, being around more food as they work from home, and overeating contributed to this.

According to another study by Gregory Marcus, MD, of the University of California, San Francisco, along with some of his colleagues, they found that participants across the country reported gaining approximately 1.5 pounds a month since stay-at-home orders were put in place.

Yet another survey by the American Psychological Association called Stress in America surveyed U.S. adults in late February 2021 through The Harris Poll. They found that since the pandemic started, 42% reported that they had gained weight and of those an average of 29 pounds was gained. The median amount gained was about 15 pounds. Further 10% said they gained more than 50 pounds. This data further demonstrates the need to explore effective and sustainable ways to promote physical activity and maintain weight loss.

Moving Together Outside: From ACE

Luckily our friends at the American Council on Exercise are helping combat bad habits with a new initiative by making exercise and physical activity more available to people across the country.

I’m excited to announce that we're supporting our friends at the American Council on Exercise as they launch a new initiative called “Moving Together Outside.” I have to say the people at ACE have just really been a blessing to work with since I stepped in about seven months ago, and they’ve generously offered a lot of support to me personally and also to IHRSA and the industry at large over the last seven months. So we really appreciate the opportunity to be part of this effort that encourages communities affected by COVID-19 restrictions and other barriers to increase exercise and physical activity and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

As many gyms pivoted to expand their services during the pandemic and join the virtual world, some of them also chose to take advantage of outdoor spaces using shared-use agreements. The “Moving Together Outside” campaign hopes to better utilize available resources—things like parks, parking lots, and other outdoor venues—as well as expertise to raise awareness of the benefits of shared-use agreements with local governments. Please make sure to help us spread the word about the “Moving Together” campaign [to] show your support.

IHRSA Welcomes Four New Members to Board of Directors

And finally, after our Annual Meeting, held on March 30, we have elected four new members to our Board of Directors and I'm happy to present them to you:

  • Luke Carlson, CEO, Discover Strength
  • Aaron Moore, Director of Operations, VIDA Fitness & Aura Spa
  • Jose Teixeira, Head of Customer Experience, SC Fitness
  • Loni Wang, CEO, Catic Wellness Group, Ltd.

We look forward to working with them and appreciate their volunteerism and willingness to serve our industry

Well that's it for this week's Take 5. Thanks for joining me and I'll see you next week.

Related Articles & Publications

  • IHRSA’s Take 5: Using Data to Plan for the Future [VIDEO]

  • Physical Activity During COVID-19 Linked to Mood

  • 5 Considerations for Rolling Back Your Gym’s COVID Protocols

Author avatar

Rachel Valerio

Rachel Valerio is the Digital Content Editor for IHRSA. During the workweek, she is discovering exciting fitness industry news, staying on top of IHRSA's social media accounts and website, and hatching new plans to expand the association's digital footprint. Rachel's free time is mostly spent on pampering her cat, attempting new recipes, planning trips to visit her family in the Southwest (aka stock up on green chile), and exploring all things New England.