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: Make the Active & Safe Commitment [VIDEO]

This week, IHRSA Interim President & CEO Brent Darden asks you to make the Active & Safe Commitment.

  • December 09, 2020

This is huge! We’ve launched the Active & Safe Commitment—an initiative to reaffirm the health club industry’s unyielding dedication to safety. It serves three primary purposes:

  1. To demonstrate the industry’s united commitment to safety for members, guests, and staff
  2. To provide health club members and guests with well-founded peace of mind during club visits
  3. To help persuade policymakers and public health officials to reopen and keep open clubs during the pandemic

Learn how you can take the Active & Safe Commitment here: ihrsa.org/activeandsafe.

Watch the full video for all of the latest news from Brent. You can also read the transcript below.

  • 0:03 - Update on Global Health & Fitness Alliance
  • 0:19 - IHRSA Responds to EU Tariff on Exercise Equipment
  • 0:52 - Top Five List of Places COVID is Being Transmitted Does Not Include Gyms
  • 1:18 - Share the Medical Endorsement of Exercise & Lifestyle Management
  • 2:35 - Take the Active & Safe Commitment
  • 4:53 - Tips to Maintaining Your Equipment During the Pandemic

Full Transcript

Welcome to this week's IHRSA Take 5.

Update on Global Health & Fitness Alliance

[I will] give you an international update first. The Global Health & Fitness Alliance had its second meeting this past week and they're gaining momentum and worked on developing a list of short-term and long-term goals and identifying some of the research that they'd like to see that might help clubs again around the world.

IHRSA Responds to EU Tariff on Exercise Equipment

Also on an international stage, I previously shared that the European Union recently levied a 25% tariff on exercise equipment imported from the U.S. So IHRSA has written a response sharing our disappointment and encouraging the European Union to reconsider, especially given the impact of the pandemic and the need to do everything we can to support physical activity around the world. Now's not the time to be taxing exercise equipment when we really need to be encouraging people to be more active especially after the shutdown.

Top Five List of Places COVID is Being Transmitted Does Not Include Gyms

Dr. Sanjay Gupta, the famous MD featured on CNN, says that COVID transmission is happening in these five places:

  1. Restaurants
  2. Bars
  3. Cafes/coffee shops
  4. Hotels
  5. Houses of worship

No surprise to our industry, the list does not include health clubs and gyms. Surprise, surprise.

Share the Medical Endorsement of Exercise & Lifestyle Management

Also this week, really big news, IHRSA, with an assist from the medical science and health headlight team, has developed what we're calling a Medical Endorsement of Exercise & Lifestyle [Management] letter in support of our industry. And I'm asking you to please consider sharing this statement signed by medical authorities, which says essentially that exercise is essential, vital, and safe for your members to see.

Also, if you could pass it on to local media, public health officials, and even your governor. You can also help us get out international, national and local medical and public health authorities to add their support to this letter. And you can find the link to this letter here. Again, we're asking you to share it with your medical contacts and or your club's medical advisory board, and ask them if they will sign their name onto this letter. Once they agree, all they have to do is fill out the online consent form allowing us to use their name and whatever entity they're affiliated with.

So if you'd prefer to send the letter as a PDF, or if you have any questions or need any additional information, you can email us if you need any help accessing the information or if you have any questions.

Take the Active & Safe Commitment

The next update is absolutely huge. And I really would implore you to listen closely and follow through on this commitment. It's called the Active & Safe Commitment, and it's ready for adoption right now.

Developed by industry experts, per the foremost public health guidance, the Active & Safe Commitment serves three primary purposes. Number one, to demonstrate the industry's united commitment to safety for members, guests, staff, and the community at large.

Number two can provide your health club members and guests with confidence and peace of mind about visiting clubs.

And number three as a tool to help persuade policymakers and public health officials to reopen or keep open clubs during the COVID-19 pandemic.

[The] link to learn more about that can be found on IHRSA's homepage, you'll see Active & Safe Commitment on the homepage. And there you will find an official certificate of commitment, which you can sign and display in your club, downloadable logos that you can use to make stickers, signage, logos to put on the outside of your door, printable flyers explaining what the program is that are consumer facing and an overview of the campaign.

We need as many clubs as possible to make this commitment and help reinforce the vital and responsible nature of clubs all over the world. It is an international campaign. And we're asking people to sign on to this campaign demonstrating their commitment to do what they know is right related to the mitigation steps for transmitting COVID. We already know the clubs are not the place where COVID is being transmitted. Nevertheless, this is gonna ensure the consumer as well as public officials and others in the community that health clubs are doing all that they can to maintain a safe environment, much like in the hotel and lodging industry. They have a Safe Stay campaign. The restaurant industry has a Serve Safe campaign. And this is our health and fitness industry's campaign called Active & Safe. Go online, sign up as soon as possible.

It's already receiving really wide adoption around the world and we'd like to get as many [as] possible to sign up that will only make all of us better.

Tips to Maintaining Your Equipment During the Pandemic

I'd like to remind you of some tips on maintaining your exercise equipment during the unique challenges posed by the pandemic.

So number one, provide extra care for any equipment that may have been moved outside in an attempt to increase member engagement to offer these outdoor exercise alternatives. But most of the equipment clubs are using outdoors is not really intended for outdoor use and a prolonged exposure to the elements. So be careful with that.

Number two, consider limiting the opportunity for excessive use of spray bottles when members are cleaning cardiovascular equipment consoles in particular. Members can be overly aggressive with actually spraying down the consoles rather than doing what manufacturers suggest, which is actually spraying the rags or the towels first and then wiping the face of the consoles. One club I know in Germany has actually secured the spray bottle so that they can't be taken to the equipment but they're readily available for all members to use.

And then number three, the final tip is to remember to shift the placement of equipment based on usage. This is a best practice all the time, sort of moving around your treadmills, bikes, ellipticals and so forth so that no one piece of equipment is getting a lot more use than others, especially now that certain pieces of equipment may have been disabled in an attempt to manage the physical distancing requirements that we're under. Some pieces may be getting used a whole lot more than others. So keep that in mind that you may need to switch around the location of your particular cardiovascular equipment so that everything gets more of an even usage rate.

And then finally, if you've got some questions about what specific cleaning agents to use, most of the manufacturers have information about that. I know Precor has that on their website, you can go there and find out exactly what they recommend that you do use with all this enhanced cleaning that's being undertaken right now.

Hope to see you next week. We'll be releasing the results of a brand new research study that we've been under work with and in collaboration with the University of Oregon. I can say I know you'll enjoy the results. We've seen the preliminary findings already. And again, I'll update you on all of that next week.

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Katie Willis

Katie Willis is the Senior Marketing Operations Manager at IHRSA, where she helps to create and execute marketing campaigns to grow IHRSA and its events. When she isn't working, you can find her spending time with her family, at a barre class, or keeping up with her favorite Bravo TV shows.