IHRSA Active & Safe Commitment

IHRSA invites you to make the Active & Safe Commitment.

What is the IHRSA Active & Safe Commitment?

The Active & Safe Commitment is an initiative to reaffirm the health club industry’s unyielding dedication to safety at this time when exercise has never been more important to global health.

Developed by industry experts in accordance with the foremost public health guidance, the Active & Safe Commitment serves three main 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; and
  3. To reassure policymakers and public health officials that health clubs should not be shut down during the COVID-19 pandemic, but rather should be relied upon as safe environments for exercise that can serve as, responsible, credible, and effective partners for reducing the pandemic’s catastrophic toll on physical, mental, and emotional wellbeing.

Why is the Active & Safe Commitment relevant to governments and the general public?

  • Physical activity and healthy movement are important drivers of physical health, mental health, emotional wellbeing, and overall quality of life
  • COVID-19 restrictions have drastically reduced physical activity rates and imperiled the health status of millions in communities across the globe
  • As evidenced in the The COVID Era Fitness Consumer report, health clubs provide a vital service for physical, mental and social needs of millions of people
  • Challenging weather conditions during the winter months will further reduce opportunities for physical activity across the northern hemisphere

What does the Commitment mean for club operators?

By signing the commitment, a health club operator publicly pledges to follow industry best practices in four operational categories:

  1. Physical distancing/mitigation measures;
  2. Employee/member safety protocols;
  3. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting; and
  4. Contact tracing.

Why should a club operator make the Commitment?

"The Active & Safe Commitment is a public expression of our highest values as an industry,” says Brent Darden, interim president & CEO of IHRSA. “I strongly encourage every health club operator to sign the commitment, boldly stand united with fellow operators across the industry, and confidently proclaim health clubs as vital community resources during these challenging times.”

How does a club make the Commitment?

Simply log into your account, read the Commitment and ensure your club meets the criteria, check the box at the end of the Commitment, and you will then receive an email with the downloadable logo, certificate, and infographic.

Questions or comments?

Please email us at standards@ihrsa.org.

The IHRSA Active & Safe Commitment

Operational Checklist for Clubs

I commit my health club to operating industry best practices and verify that the club has taken the following COVID-19 mitigation steps, while recognizing that some specific aspects may change as new research and science emerges, we will adapt accordingly.

1. Physical distancing/mitigation measures

Facilitating and supporting appropriate physical distancing. The club employs measures including but not limited to signage, floor markings, physical distancing of at least 2 metres/6 feet (or a distance as stipulated by local guidelines) and is enforced. Longer distances will be considered for certain situations, including group exercise, during periods of high community spread, or high intensity exercise.

Occupancy management systems/policies. The health club is aware of and following all capacity limitations/restrictions in accordance with the key considerations guidelines and has systems and policies in place to enforce these limitations. Occupancy is reduced in key areas including locker rooms, group exercise studios, and other typically high-use areas.

Plans in place to reduce cross contamination. The club has measures in place to prohibit the sharing of equipment, water bottles, towels, etc. in all areas of the club. These plans are always available to members.

Mask policy in place and enforced. At a minimum, all local mask ordinances/guidelines are enforced in the facility. Members are required to wear a mask or cloth face covering upon entering and exiting the club, and while moving between areas within the club, and anytime physical distancing can’t be maintained. Members may or may not be allowed to remove the mask during exercise. Staff are always required to wear a mask or face covering in the facility.

2. Employee/Member Safety Protocols

Comprehensive staff training. Employees of the club are informed about the latest available evidence and guidance regarding the COVID-19 outbreak, including transmission risk, current community spread, risk mitigation protocols, personal hygiene training and best practices. Management and staff are committed to following local, regional, and national guidelines.

Employee and Member Health Monitoring. The club has implemented daily health screening protocols for both employees and members. Screening options could include self-screen prior arriving to the facility, and/or temperatures and symptoms screening prior to entering the facility.

Regular member communication. All policies and protocols are clearly communicated with members across a variety of mediums so they understand and actively participate in appropriate COVID-19 mitigation measures.

Contingency planning. The club has safety and communication plans in place for situations including a member displaying symptoms while at the club or a member who has tested positive for COVID-19 and potentially exposed other members.

Employee feedback mechanism. The club provides a safe and appropriate mechanism to highlight any suggestions or issues, such as a suggestion box or email.

3. Cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting

Extensive hygiene and sanitizing protocols. Personal cleaning products including hand sanitizer and alcohol-based rubs/gels, soap canisters, and closed bins for safe disposal of hygienic materials (e.g., tissues, paper towels, sanitary products) are readily available to members and staff.

The club has a cleaning schedule to ensure the facility is clean and hygienic–wiping surfaces and any equipment regularly with disinfectant, ensure cleaning procedures include disinfection of door handles, toilet handles, bathroom faucet handles, gym, sports equipment, all touch points, etc., in all areas several times per day.

Enhanced measures to optimize ventilation and filtration. The club has ensured that HVAC systems meet all local requirements and standards, and the club has taken additional measures to maintain safe humidity levels (40-60%), regular air exchange, ventilation, and purification. Monitoring records to show evidence of implementation of these measures.

4. Contact tracing

Utilize member management software to aid contact tracing efforts. The club has the capacity and willingness to use member management software to aid health authorities in contact tracing, and has a plan in place to notify any affected members and staff in the event of an exposure.

Contract tracing oversight and protocols are established. The club has a minimum of one designated COVID-19 response coordinator/manager to oversee all contact tracing protocols and procedures, and has a plan in place to notify any affected members and staff in the event of an exposure.