Date of this Version

4-8-2015

Document Type

Journal Article

Publication Details

Published version

Gray, S. E., Keyzer, P., Norton, K., Dietrich, J., Coyle, I., & Finch, C. F. (2015). The role of equipment, the physical environment and training practices in customer safety within fitness facilities: The perspectives of fitness industry employees. Journal of Fitness Research, 4(2), 26-33.

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2015 HERDC submission

© Copyright, Australian Institute of Fitness, 2015

Articles published in Journal of Fitness Research are in an Open Access format and complies with the Budapest Open Access Initiative. Each issue is freely available on the public internet, permitting any users to read, download, copy, distribute, print, search, or link to the full texts of these articles, crawl them for indexing, pass them as data to software, or use them for any other lawful purpose, without financial, legal, or technical barriers other than those inseparable from gaining access to the internet itself.


ISSN

2201-5655

Abstract

Introduction:

Fitness facilities provide an avenue for people to engage in physical activity; however, it is important that these facilities have effective strategies to reduce the risk of injuries to their customers. The attitudes of fitness industry employees with respect to safety can influence the implementation of risk management practices that can then impact on the success of such strategies. The aim of this study was to identify views of nationwide fitness industry employees about safety hazards associated with equipment, training practices and the physical environments within fitness facilities.

Methods:

A 6-week nationwide online cross-sectional self-report survey consisting of 13 basic demographic questions and 10 questions relating to equipment, training practices and physical environment of fitness facilities, extracted from a 45 item questionnaire, answered on a 6-point Likert scale.

Results:

The majority of the 1178 respondents believed their premises were safe (94.9%). Major factors compromising safety identified by respondents were lack of ventilation (68.9%) and customers frequently observed to leave equipment lying around (43.8%). Over 90% of respondents believed that both the layout of the equipment in their facility and its design was good. There was frequent observation of equipment misuse and customers using weights that were too heavy for them (41.9% and 47.8% respectively).

Conclusions:

Fitness facilities should implement preventative maintenance of their physical environment and equipment as standard practice. Only qualified fitness professionals should be hired and provided with extensive risk management training to support their role of overseeing customer safety and improving customer training practices.

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This document has been peer reviewed.

 

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