Leisure operator, Places Leisure, has revealed the results of a survey which sought to gauge the attitudes of its members towards reopening.
The Re-Opening Survey attracted more than 30,000 responses from Places Leisure members, who used a facility at least once after 1 February 2020.
It offers insight into when members want to come back, which activities they are most likely to take part in and their thoughts around re-opening in general.
When questioned how ready members were to return to the activities they carried out previously, more than half of gym members (52 per cent), regular swimmers (59 per cent) and those attending exercise classes (52 per cent) were planning on an immediate return.
A further 37 per cent of gym goers, 38 per cent of group class attendees and 33 per cent of swimmers would be prepared to return if they “received adequate reassurances” that it was safe.
In total, only 10 per cent of swimmers, 11 per cent of gym members and 8 per cent of class attendees ruled out a return altogether.
When asked what these reassurances could be, more than 90 per cent said they would want to know adequate hygiene and cleaning regimes had been introduced, while 85 per cent said they would want to see social distancing being adhered to. 84 per cent said they would want to see limited capacity implemented at facilities.
More than a third (67 per cent) also said that, with all the restrictions in place, they would want confirmation that they could still visit a facility enough times in order to enjoy value for money.
Of those planning to return, around a quarter (26 per cent) said they would be prepared to visit a centre as soon as it opens, with half (50 per cent) saying they would attend an activity within the first week of reopening.
Less than 5 per cent said they would not visit until a facility had been open for at least a month.
Other findings include that 62 per cent of members have seen their activity levels decrease during lockdown. Worryingly, 58 per cent of parents also said their children’s activity had decreased during the pandemic.
Of those who have remained active, nearly two thirds (63 per cent) have undertaken home workouts in some form – with a quarter (25 per cent) using online or live-streamed content.
Nearly a third (30 per cent) fo members who had carried out home workouts during lockdown said they would carry out the “same level or more” afterwards.
“Understanding how our customers feel and what they expect is critical to our business success,” said John Oxley, Places Leisure’s chief operating officer, in the foreword to the report on the survey.
“The Covid-19 pandemic has disrupted the physical activity habits of more than a quarter of a million members.
“It was critical, therefore, that in planning to re-open we sought their views and opinions – what did they expect, how well had we kept in touch and was this disruption likely to permanently change their attitudes and behaviours?”
Andy Glover, head of customer experience, added: “We hope the results prove insightful and helpful at a challenging time for both customers and businesses.”
Places Leisure has published the results of the survey. To access the results, click here.