PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — Even as more and more people get vaccinated, a majority of pre-pandemic gym-goers in the United States say they still do not plan to return to gyms after they get their shots.
According to a new study by RunRepeat, about 70% of the people surveyed said they are still not working out at the gym. More than half canceled their memberships altogether.
“You’re seeing more than a third of gym members stating they don’t even intend to come back once they’re vaccinated and feel safe enough to do so,” said Nicholas Rizzo, fitness research director.
About a quarter of people said they will return to gyms, but not until their family, friends and loved ones are also vaccinated.
Rizzo said the coronavirus pandemic has helped a lot of people explore different ways of working out — and many don’t want to let that go. Home workouts are now a direct competitor with gyms.
“People have invested in at-home equipment, which is a trend we’ve seen skyrocket by 150%,” he added.
Before the pandemic, Jarah Doose was a gym rat.
“I went to the gym five days a week. I had a gym right next door to the office, it was wonderful,” she said.
But while working from home over the last year, she invested in gym equipment and found other ways to work out — as Rizzo said.
“I enjoyed my trail runs, hikes and walks. I just really got in tune with nature,” she added.
Even with a vaccine, Doose does not feel comfortable being around people in the gym, and she would rather use the tools she invested in.
Gyms may have to rethink the way they interact with and work with customers if they want to stay profitable.