New Poll Shows Wide Support for Safely Reopening Fitness Centers Throughout New Jersey


August 10, 2020– Trenton, NJ— According to a new statewide survey released today, 57% of New Jersey voters want gyms and fitness centers to reopen, with strict safety protocols in place. In fact, after voters hear the specific safety precautions that those venues will follow, as well as other factors, support for reopening gyms grew to 69%.

The survey, 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.


On the issue of health and safety, there was strong support for reopening gyms:

  • 70% support reopening because of the vital role that exercise plays in mental health especially during stressful times and is often required for some with underlying medical conditions. Gyms and health clubs can operate with the same safety protocols as big box and grocery stores, while supporting physical and mental health
  • 71% indicate it’s important to reopen gyms when looking ahead to Fall and Winter seasons with colder weather when regular exercise will become harder for most New Jersey residents
  • 70% would support reopening gyms because the fitness centers will limit capacity in order to comply with social distancing protocols
  • 70% would support reopening because gyms will require all patrons to be at least 6 feet apart
  • 68% are more supportive know gyms have air filtration systems with high-grade, high-efficiency filters
  • 67% support reopening gyms after learning that the facilities would sanitize equipment after each use and conduct full hydrostatic cleaning and sanitization of the gym space
  • 63% find the reopening argument more persuasive because gyms would continue their policy of documenting each visitor’s time in the building for future contact tracing

ACCESS: There was also strong support (69%) for reopening gyms in order to provide urban communities safe access to healthy living particularly for those who cannot afford personal fitness equipment or lack access to safe, outdoor recreation spaces


JOBS: Support for reopening gyms was strong when considering the economic impact as well. 69% are supportive of reopening gyms because these fitness centers have been shuttered for four months, and many are facing permanent closure and job losses. With nearly 17% unemployment 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. Just last month the state Department of Labor announced 25,000 more New Jersey workers filed for unemployment benefits, bringing the total seeking aid since March to 1.4 million workers. More than one in four workers in New Jersey have been left jobless.

“New Jersey cannot afford to fall further behind. Our comeback can only truly begin by getting the state working—and working out—again.” said Anthony Russo, President of the Commerce and Industry Association of New Jersey“Reopening gyms will help our collective mental, physical and financial health. It can be done safely, and we now know it has the support of a wide majority of New Jerseyans.”

Overall, 60% approve of the way Gov. Murphy is handling the coronavirus pandemic and 39% disapprove.


The statewide survey of 500 likely New Jersey voters has a margin of error of +/- 4.38% and was conducted via IVR technology (70%) and cell phone text solicitation (30%). The survey was conducted July 30 – August 2, 2020 by Harper Polling on behalf of Commerce and Industry Association of NJ.

NJ Statewide Planet Fitness Toplines


CIANJ is a unique network of businesses committed to improving and advancing the cause of free enterprise in the Garden State. Our focus sets us apart from other organizations and provides the basis upon which we work to make our state a better place to live, work and conduct business.

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