January is definitely the month for good resolutions, and sport and fitness are cited among the most important. However, the context is quite different since the arrival of Covid-19, and the Omicron wave. Do Belgians exercise in the same way as before Covid? How do they approach sporting activities, and how does remote working impact their routines? To answer these questions, Aspria conducted a survey in partnership with iVox among 1,000 active Belgian respondents, aged between 30 and 60.
1. Immunity, safe new relationships and positive mindset
Covid has disrupted the lifestyle of many of us. However, some have maintained their good habits in this chalenging period, and others tend to pick them up again. The reasons for this vary. Since the reopening of fitness and wellbeing clubs last June, 73% of those who have a subscription say that they are going to their sports club during the 4th wave to stay fit and boost their immunity. In addition, two thirds of them do so to make contacts in a safe environment while exercising. From a mental health point of view, 75% of them will continue to workout at their clubs during wave 4 to take their mind off things, while 58% of respondents indicate that exercising during the period of lockdowns and restrictions helped them fight boredom.
2. Key criteria : space, hygiene and Covid Safe Ticket
In this period, Belgians pay a lot of attention to personal space when it comes to sports and fitness. As far as indoor space is concerned, while respondends cite working out in group exercise classes is of interest to them, 81% of them think it is important that a club is not too busy. In fact, 34% of Belgians cite congestion as one of their top three irritations. As for outdoor space, the possibility of exercising outside is also important. The Aspria clubs feature spacious and well ventilated indoor areas, often seen as an advantage by our members; we are also among the few clubs in Brussels to offer outdoor spaces for sporting activities, from tennis to functional training.
Another factor cited in the survey is hygiene, with 49% participants valuing a hygienically impeccable club, while safety is key – with no less than 82% of respondents being in favour of the Covid Safe Ticket.
Aspria clubs have always had the most square metres per member in the entire fitness industry. In addition, since the start of the pandemic, Aspria has invested €75,000 in implementing strict safety protocols in all its Brussels clubs. The aim is to make our clubs ‘covid safe’.Flavien Chambaud, General Manager of Aspria Arts-Loi.
3. Work & wellbeing: an effective combination
The necessity to work remotely, caused by Covid, has meant that people have been able to organise their time better and therefore achieve a better work-life balance. For many (58%), combining work, exercising and family time motivates them to have a more active lifestyle. Respondents who work from home at least once a week are more likely to exercise during their lunch break and/or at another time of the working day. However, only 9% of them prefer a virtual workout session to a face-to-face class, a fact that again highlights how important it is to so many to be able to return to a gym.
Moreover, for 58% of professionals who could no longer travel to their offices, having a quiet coworking space within their sports club is seen as an advantage, as they can immediately exercise after work, all under one roof. A win-win situation, with health and time-saving benefits. Respondents based in Brussels are even more keen on this idea, with 69% in favour of this type of facility.