The Coronavirus is completely changing health clubs’ day to day processes. It is now our duty as operators to ensure proper measures of social distancing and hygienic protocols. In doing our part, we avoid health risks for our members and staff. One of the ways we can protect our people is by using the latest in touchless technology.
Objects that traditionally require touch to operate (e.g., doors, faucets, soap and towel dispensers, etc.) can make use of gesture control instead. Reducing the surface contact in our clubs as much as possible, in turn, reduces the need for deep cleaning. Additionally, it helps eliminate potential virus vectors.
To ensure social distancing and reduce the need for physical interaction, clubs can enable member self-check using a stationary scanner. Alternately, through the use of geofencing and mobile technology, clubs can supply a smartphone mobile app that allows members to check themselves in as they enter the physical establishment seamlessly.
One of the most secure and frictionless ways to check-in is the use of facial recognition. Although facial recognition technology has been adopted slowly by our industry (because of regulatory and privacy concerns), we’ll likely see this type of technology evolve quickly post COVID-19.
Virtual Fitness and Telehealth
Working out with a trainer or attending a fitness class online has never been more popular. Health coaches and registered dietitians are also using video conferencing technology to see clients. From off-the-shelf platforms like Zoom to industry-specific video distribution platforms like BurnAlong, health clubs have a variety of digital tools at their disposal to deliver fitness without members ever needing to enter the four walls of a club.
From low tech temperature screening solutions like Welld's Cleared for Entry application to full-blown all-in-one mounted thermal scanners, there are a growing number of options to ensure you refrain from allowing sick employees and members into your establishment. These touchless solutions circumvent the need for a contact-style thermometer and help the spread of the virus.
Good Environmental Design
The pandemic will have a lasting impact on the psychological comfort of our members and employees. As health advocates, it is our duty that we put people's well-being first and their minds at ease. Good environmental design is an integral part of that commitment. The less people need to touch communal objects in our clubs, the less we put them at risk for contaminants. Including touchless experience strategies into your space planning helps support reducing COVID-19 risk for your workforce and the members you serve.
Written by: Mike Rucker, Ph.D. | Chief Digital Officer
Mike Rucker, Ph.D., is Active’s Chief Digital Officer as well as the resident “fun” expert. By day, he strategizes innovation. By night, he is working on a book about the science of fun called The Fun Habit being released by Simon and Schuster in 2021.