Survey: Most New Jerseyans want gyms to reopen

New Jersey residents are itching to get back to the gym, according to a new poll by the Commerce and Industry Association.

According to the survey, there’s widespread support (57% of voters) to safely reopen fitness centers throughout New Jersey. This support grew to 69% after voters heard the specific safety precautions that venues would follow.

The survey found the biggest argument to reopen gyms is when comparing them to other businesses that have already opened. More than two-thirds (71%) are more likely to support reopening gyms after hearing that the state has already allowed casinos, amusement parks and museums to reopen.

Health and safety

When focusing on the issue of health and safety, there was obvious support to reopening gyms:

  • 70% support reopening due to the vital role that exercise plays in mental health;
  • 71% said it’s important to reopen gyms looking ahead to the colder months, as regular exercise will become harder for most;
  • 70% are more supportive knowing gyms will limit capacity and social distance;
  • 70% are more supportive knowing gyms will require all patrons to be 6 feet apart;
  • 68% are more supportive knowing gyms have high-grade air filtration systems;
  • 67% are more supportive knowing equipment would be sanitized after each use.

Access

The survey found strong support (69%) for reopening gyms so urban communities can access healthy spaces for those who cannot afford gym equipment or lack an outdoor space.

Jobs

There’s also support to reopen (69%) over the fact that gyms have been closed for four months and are increasingly facing permanent job losses and shutdowns. According to the NJ Fitness Alliance, there are 1,232 health clubs in New Jersey that employ more than 50,000 people.

“New Jersey cannot afford to fall further behind. Our comeback can only truly begin by getting the state working — and working out — again,” Anthony Russo, president of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, said. “Reopening gyms will help our collective mental, physical and financial health. It can be done safely, and we now know it has the support of a wide majority of New Jerseyans.”

Overall, more than half (60%) support Gov. Phil Murphy’s handling of the COVID-19 pandemic and 39% disapprove.

The survey of 500 New Jerseyans between July 30 and Aug. 2 had a margin of error of +/- 4.38%.