New Zealand gyms and exercise facilities have reached about 85 to 90 per cent of pre-covid levels, an ExerciseNZ survey has found.
The bounce back efforts by exercise professionals, gyms and facilities includes numbers of people participating in activity, revenue and new sales.
Most positive of all is the new membership sales showing more people are wanting to get physically active, ExerciseNZ chief executive Richard Beddie says.
"This is perhaps a flow on from all the walking and cycling that hundreds of thousands of Kiwis did during lockdown," he says.
"What is clear is that many people who were not active normally, were so during lockdown. As a result, they may have experienced some of the many benefits, such as increased mental clarity and an overall improvement of state of mind.
"Anecdotally, a lot of facilities have said people decided they felt much better when they were active and wanted to keep this up, now we are back to more normal routines.
"While the survey results are positive and we remain cautiously optimistic, and we are still yet to feel the full effects of the economic downturn from increased unemployment, which will likely not hit until the last quarter of this year, as we still see large variability between facilities and trainers.
"One big factor is still the work from home trend, which has shifted the demand around especially in the larger cities where work and home may be further apart.”
He is urging the government to do something about “unreasonable commercial landlords” who refused to engage with tenants over rent during lockdown.
“We need government to step up and take a leadership role here.
"Overall, the survey shows the exercise industry is resilient when it comes to economic downturns and as long as our border control continues to be robust and consumer confidence remains, then the long term prospects remain positive and many Kiwis will get to hold onto the benefits of exercise they gained during lockdown.”