The fitness industry across the nation has suffered a massive blow as the number of full-time instructors drops by almost 70 per cent.
The health and fitness industry was forced to adapt dramatically to COVID-19 restrictions in 2020.
Despite increased interest in keeping fit and healthy from the public, fitness instructors and gyms were, for the most part, swapped for online classes and fitness apps during the country’s successive lockdowns.
Without a doubt, the impact on the whole industry has been huge – but it’s now possible to quantify that impact.
New research from Quotezone.co.uk, a price comparison platform that helps instructors and personal trainers compare fitness instructor insurance quotes, reveals that the number of full-time fitness instructors dropped by 67 per cent in 2020, with a 75 per cent drop in part-time instructors.
Sarah McMinn of Grace Health and Fitness in East Kilbride understands the struggles of working in the industry, she told the News: “It’s been really tough year for everyone.
“Gyms and fitness classes were forced to close and I moved classes online but for others in the industry, the demand might not be there from clients, or simply, you can’t take your sport or fitness class online.
“Things like football, swimming and contact sports can’t be taken online and this has left people without jobs.
“It’s really sad and it’s an impact of the pandemic.”
The research used fitness instructor insurance data compiled during the first national lockdown in the spring and compared it to the same period in 2019, with an overall sample size of 2000 fitness professionals from 2019-2020.
Interestingly, women make up 80 per cent of the part-time workers, perhaps trying to fit in additional work and income around busy family lives.
Supporting the view, a McKinsey report in October found that women’s jobs were more vulnerable during the pandemic than men’s, likely due in part to the unbalanced responsibility of unpaid care carried by women.
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Even before the pandemic, women were responsible for 75 per cent of unpaid care, however, the pandemic and resulting restrictions, including closed schools and nurseries, has exacerbated this imbalance.
Greg Wilson, Founder of Quotezone.co.uk, told the News : “When we analysed the data, it was clear COVID-19 has impacted the fitness industry from all angles but with dwindling numbers of females entering the industry, especially full-time, it’s even more important to ensure their income is protected against possible liability claims.
“Understandably with less income, the temptation to cut expenses grows, especially if fitness instructors cut hours to work part-time, they are perhaps less likely to secure public liability cover compared with full-time workers. However, no matter what the hours, protecting against client injury claims is a wise decision as it can help to protect your reputation and financial assets.”
-- to www.dailyrecord.co.uk