June 16, 2020
Stephanie Viola, Content Strategist, Biodex Medical Systems, Inc.
As wellness exercise facilities and medical fitness centers slowly begin to reopen to clients amid the coronavirus pandemic, owners and staff are working to implement new safety measures according to CDC guidelines to protect clientele.
To name a few:
- More rigorous cleaning protocols
- Facemask requirements in shared spaces
- Social distancing policies and practices
- Health checks for staff returning to work
While some preparations, such as maximizing physical distance between members, seem obvious, there are a few more ideas you might consider as you plan to safely reopen wellness services to the public.
1. Know the Right Way to Disinfect Exercise Equipment
Frequent cleaning of equipment and exercise machines is a given for client and staff safety. While many hard plastic and metal surfaces will hold up to frequent wiping down with common household cleaners, special care should be taken when sanitizing equipment with digital screens to prevent permanent damage.
Biodex recommends you avoid cleaning products containing bleach when sanitizing electronics or computer screens on our devices. Bleach can cause damage to screens, including discoloration and fading. When using a spray cleaner, it’s a good idea to spray onto a soft cloth or towel rather than directly onto electronic surfaces. This will avoid liquid dripping into the computer.
Check with the manufacturer for the best way to clean and disinfect your equipment, and train staff prior to reopening.
|Signage can help demonstrate proper use, no assistance needed.|
2. Help Members Use Equipment Without Assistance
A visit to a gym or wellness center should be cathartic and energizing. The last thing your visitors want to worry about is asking staff for help when they approach a machine. To keep frustration to a minimum and promote safe distancing between staff and members, good advice is to offer equipment that’s easy for the layperson to understand.
For the more complicated machines, make sure you have adequate signage or graphic instructions nearby to demonstrate proper use.
Many wellness facilities have become proficient with remote communication platforms and video during the temporary shutdown. You might apply those new skills to offering equipment demonstrations on your website and social channels. This is also a great way to show members what they can look forward to when they return to your facility.
3. Offer Free Balance Screening
While many proactive individuals have used their stint in isolation to start or enhance their workout routine, there are lots of people (like me…) who need some time to get back to their previous level of activity. This includes athletes, older adults and everyone in between.
Balance has long been considered an indicator of overall physical health, from fall risk in seniors to athletes recovering from a concussion. When members come back, you can help them understand strength or stability deficits with a complimentary balance screening. Balance technology can quickly provide an objective assessment that can help you set goals for members and recommend an individualized exercise plan.
4. Highlight Low-Impact Exercise Options
Just as quarantine inactivity makes balance screening a good idea, low-impact exercise equipment that encourages functional movement will be an important offering for anyone experiencing weakness or joint issues post-isolation. Older adults with functional limitations may especially benefit from progressive training. (Sit-to-stand, anyone?)
Depending on the results of their assessment, you might direct some members toward the low-impact equipment to start. Ensure these machines are accessible and properly separated to follow distancing guidelines. Your members will thank you!
5. Expand Your Fitness Offerings
While everyday quarantine inactivity is an important affliction your service can help combat, it isn’t the only one – especially if you are a physical therapy clinic or have therapists on staff. With the help of your clinical staff, you could be in a position to provide services to people who are experiencing physical issues following COVID-19 recovery.
For example, Illinois-based Athletico Physical Therapy is using their clinical expertise and research to help combat side-effects from COVID-19 or hospitalization, including exercise training, breathing control retraining and more.
Reopening your doors to a community in need of wellness exercise can be both exciting and nerve-wracking. Proper planning, safety measures, and a little outside-the-box thinking will go a long way toward making it a successful return to activity for all.
|Interested in learning more?
Download the eBook: How to Attract Seniors with Wellness Exercise
|Stephanie Viola, Content Strategist, Marketing Communications
Biodex Medical Systems, Inc.