Gyms doing heavy lifting prep to be fit for purpose post-lockdown

PureGym, the UK’s largest gym operator, is trialling the use of robotic cleaners to enhance its cleaning regime. The robots, which kill microbes with a zap of ultraviolet light, sell for around £50,000 each and have been deployed by the NHS across its Nightingale hospitals.

“They’re quite expensive and slightly tricky to use because everyone needs to leave the room when the UV light is blasting around; it’s sort of like sunlight on steroids,” says Humphrey Cobbold, chief executive of PureGym.

“We will probably use them if we have a situation where there’s an infection, or we believe there is somebody who has been infected and visited one of our gyms.”

PureGym, which also has gyms in Switzerland, Denmark and Poland, reopened sites in the former last month. The operator is adhering to the country’s two-metre social distancing rule by limiting the number of members allowed in at any one time, while removing around half of its cardio equipment such as treadmills.

Cobbold expects exercise classes which would normally have around 25 participants to be cut by half, while classes involving physical interaction, such as boxing and circuit training, will be removed from gym schedules.

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