Poll: Most Want Gyms To Reopen

According to a new poll released Monday, 57% of New Jersey voters want gyms and fitness centers to reopen, with strict safety protocols in place.

Interestingly, the statewide survey of 500 voters, conducted on behalf of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey, found that the most compelling argument to reopen gyms is when comparing them to other establishments that have already reopened.

More than seven-in-ten (71%) are more likely to support reopening gyms after learning that New Jersey has already allowed casinos, amusement parks, and museums to reopen, and that gyms have five times more square footage per person than establishments like cycling studios and hair salons that have also been allowed to reopen.

In addition, when told of the specific safety precautions that those venues will follow, as well as other factors, support for reopening gyms also grew, with 69% of respondents favoring their reopening.

Support for reopening gyms was also strong when respondents were told about the economic impact as well, with 69% saying they are supportive of reopening gyms because they have been shuttered for four months, and many are facing permanent closure and job losses.

With nearly a 16% unemployment rate in New Jersey, the second highest rate in the country, reopening gyms would put thousands of people back to work and allow the fitness industry to move forward with planned expansion, meaning thousands more construction jobs and permanent jobs as well

According to the NJ Fitness Alliance, there are currently 1,232 health clubs in New Jersey employing more than 50,000 people.

Last week, the state Department of Labor announced another 16,573 New Jersey workers filed for unemployment benefits, bringing the total seeking aid since March to just under 1.5 million workers. More than one in four workers in New Jersey have been left jobless.

Asked about Governor Phil Murphy’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic, 60% said they approve while 39% disapproved.

The survey was conducted July 30 – August 2, by Harper Polling on behalf of Commerce and Industry Association of NJ and has a margin of error of +/- 4.38%. It was conducted via IVR technology (70%) and cell phone text solicitation (30%).

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