Fitness Australia urges locked down Victorians not to forget the importance of physical activity

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Following today’s announcement from the Victorian Government of a seven-day stage three lockdown for the state, Fitness Australia is urging it, as well as all Victorians, not to forget the importance of physical activity and exercise during this lockdown period.

With a two-hour daily limit on exercise allowed with one other person, Fitness Australia Chief Executive, Barrie Elvish (pictured) highlighted that it was still safe to exercise outdoors, advising “we understand and support the Victorian government in their immediate measures to control the current COVID-19 outbreak. The health and safety of the community is important.

“However, looking after our mental health and overall wellbeing is just as important, particularly during lockdown, which for many people means isolation from friends and family.

“Continuing to keep active over the next seven days is extremely important and, provided you are well and adhering to social distancing requirements and other stage three lockdown restrictions, getting outdoors to exercise with one other person is allowed.”

Call for continued industry consultation
Elvish also said it was vital for the Victorian Government to consult with the industry in the coming days to discuss the safe reopening of fitness centres and gyms.

Elvish explained “we are calling on the Victorian Government and health authorities to work with us over the coming days to ensure the fitness industry can reopen as soon as possible. We want to ensure they have access to vital industry data to inform key decisions.

“As the industry’s peak industry association, we want to work with the government to alleviate any concerns they have around the safety of registered gyms. We have thousands of individual and business members who are able to provide instant data when it comes to check-ins, contact information and tracing.

“This is the same data that has shown us that our members’ gyms across Victoria are safe.”

Elvish said the fitness sector has been unfairly mislabelled in the past and the industry was hoping the Victorian Government wouldn’t make the same mistakes again.

He went on to state “the fitness sector has been mislabelled in the past and continued to be labelled as high risk, the cause of outbreaks, dirty, unsafe and many other pejoratives, unfairly. The sector has demonstrated since the beginning of the pandemic that it can work effectively with state health departments to implement COVID-Safe social distancing and hygiene protocols.

“We urge the Victorian Government to use this industry data rather than these false narratives that are not based on Australian facts.

“Fitness Australia registered gyms and their staff have a vested interest in keeping their facilities safe and hygienic, even more so now. Likewise, gym members who want their facility to stay open also appreciate the importance of maintaining social distance, cleaning equipment, bringing their own towel and staying home if feeling unwell.”

Move to recognition as a health service
Speaking today at the FILEX Leadership Summit in Sydney, Elvish explained Fitness Australia’s move for its members to be recognised more for their role in improving activity levels and physical and mental health than as being an adjunct to sport and recreation.

Drawn from the result of a consultation the body undertook with Latrobe University from December last year on having the fitness industry regulated like other allied health services, Elvish’s comments precede a full announcement expected in the coming weeks.

Related Articles

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6th May 2021 – Fitness Australia, ESSA and SMA join forces to launch pre-exercise screening system specifically for young people

26th April 2021 – FILEX organisers announce new Business Summit dates

31st March 2021 – FILEX’s face-to-face events return with Sydney Summits

23rd March 2021 – Fitness Australia says industry ‘continues to strengthen’ 12 months since COVID-19 shutdowns

24th February 2021 – Fitness Australia welcomes NSW Government’s lifting of gym class numbers to 50 people

23rd February 2021 – Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish highlights the value of health

17th February 2021 – Fans to return to Australian Open and indoor fitness and sport to resume as Victoria lifts Coronavirus lockdown

4th January 2021 – Fitness Australia calls for Federal government to introduce national plan to improve physical activity rates

1st December 2020 – Fitness Australia partners with Latrobe University to launch industry survey

17th November 2020 – Fitness Australia Chief Executive questions why gyms must close but pubs can stay open

5th November 2020 – Fitness Australia announces election of new Directors

29th October 2020 – Fitness Australia advise that risk of infection in a gym is less than ‘one in a million’

16th October 2020 – Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish maintains calls for gyms to open in regional Victoria

12th October 2020 – Fitness Australia provides update on meeting with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Medical Officer

8th October 2020 – Fitness Australia releases research showing impact of lockdown gym closures

3rd October 2020 – Fitness Australia launches transferable membership and AusREP Relief package

25th September 2020 – Fitness Australia asserts there is no clear evidence gyms spread COVID -19

21st September 2020 – Fitness Australia’s Barrie Elvish to meet with Victoria’s Deputy Chief Health Officer to urge gym reopening


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