Planet Fitness, Inc. (NYSE: PLNT) announced that members and guests will be required to wear a mask at all times while inside all open stores, beginning August 1. Currently, all Planet Fitness employees are required to wear masks. To date, the Company has approximately 1,450 locations open across 46 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, and Australia.
“As we continue to face the COVID-19 pandemic, amid an ongoing global health crisis, wellness has never been as essential to our collective community as it is today,” said Chris Rondeau, Chief Executive Officer at Planet Fitness. “Gyms are part of the solution and a key element of the healthcare delivery system, providing much needed access for people to exercise and stay healthy. Given our leadership position within the industry, we believe it’s our responsibility to further protect our members, employees, and communities so that we can all safely focus on our health, which is more important now than ever before.”
According to the International Health, Racquet & Sportsclub Association (IHRSA)1, safety and sanitization policies implemented at gyms that have been allowed to reopen have been extremely effective. In addition to the updated mask requirement, Planet Fitness has already taken several additional steps to strengthen its existing cleanliness policies and procedures to help keep members, guests and employees safe. These include enhanced cleanliness and sanitization policies and procedures, extensive training for employees, physical distancing measures in its spacious and well-ventilated stores, and reducing physical touch points with touchless check-in. Earlier this month, the Company also launched a Crowd Meter feature on its free mobile app to allow members to check club capacity before coming into the gym.
“I believe that as people return to their daily activities, they need to be able to safely access gyms and fitness centers with confidence, and reestablish their norms and routines,” said Dr. Ian Norton, Health Emergency response expert, founder of Respond Global and former head of Emergency Medical Team response with World Health Organization. “While COVID-19 is a serious public health issue, so too is the epidemic of obesity and chronic disease killing 1.7 million Americans every year. Fitness contributes to lowering rates of non-communicable disease related to sedentary lifestyles and obesity, and improves mental health, physical health and overall well-being.”
In the United States over the last 20 years, there’s been a significant increase in obesity, with 42.4 percent of U.S. adults and approximately 18.5 percent of children and adolescents obese. Chronic conditions, including obesity, diabetes, hypertension and heart disease increase the risk of serious illness and death from COVID-19. Evidence shows that physical activity has both immediate and long-term health benefits including helping to improve cognition, bone health, fitness, and heart health while also reducing the risk of depression. And, while federal physical activity guidelines recommend that adults get at least 150 minutes of moderate or 75 minutes of vigorous exercise each week, in addition to muscle-strengthening activities at least twice a week, only about 23 percent of adults ages 18 to 64 are hitting both of those marks according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).4
In addition to reopening stores across the country, Planet Fitness also offers free live “Home Work-Ins” which are part of Planet Fitness’ “United We Move” campaign, designed to motivate and inspire everyone to stay physically and mentally fit. Featuring Planet Fitness certified trainers and celebrity guests, each workout is streamed Monday-Friday at 7 p.m. ET and are available both on Facebook and the Planet Fitness YouTube channel once the broadcast is over. Each virtual class is 20 minutes or less and doesn’t require any equipment. Planet Fitness also offers exclusive fitness content and more than 500 exercises on its free mobile app.
For more information about Planet Fitness’ response to COVID-19 and safety measures in stores, visit https://www.planetfitness.com/health.