Do students feel safe working out? Pandemic or not


Yulissa Tagle, Unsplash

Do students feel safe at the gym? Elle Weber of The Carroll News asks students.

Elle Weber, The Carroll News

The pandemic forced people who went to the gym on a daily basis to find creative ways to exercise. Members of organized sports teams found themselves Zooming their teammates instead of seeing them at practice. As gyms slowly began to reopen, many people are still worried about the spread of COVID-19. 

At John Carroll, many students have health and safety concerns about the Corbo Fitness Center and other recreation facilities on campus. “Everyone is breathing all heavy, and some people might not wipe down the equipment,” said Sarah Brown. 

Gabby Lambesis 23’ echoed these sentiments.  “I just work out in my room. I don’t quite feel comfortable going to a gym right now when I can do mostly the same thing in my room by myself.” 

Many people have stopped working out in public places, especially since jogging and weight lifting can easily be done at home if you have the equipment. 

Rather than illness, others have different motives for avoiding the gym. Katie Cutts 23’ normally spends her time in the fitness studio because it is mainly empty, which reduces COVID-19 concerns as well as unwanted stares or attention. Many people avoid the gym because of sexual harassment from other gym goers. 

According to a study done by BarBend, “More than half of women surveyed report feeling unsafe in training environments ‘sometimes,’ ‘often,’ ‘very frequently,’ or ‘almost always.’” In fact, less than fifty percent of those surveyed stated that they rarely or never felt unsafe while working out. Even more worrisome, only 12.8% of women reported never being harassed in a gym, meaning 4 out of every 5 women have felt unsafe at the gym due to unwanted attention. 

On the other hand, many people still love going to the gym. Most gyms have implemented strict COVID-19 guidelines to prevent transmission, such as creating sanitizing stations and requiring patrons to wipe down equipment. 

Alex Lafeyette ‘21 explained that working out at the gym has allowed her to maintain a healthy mental state.

“I think that working out during COVID-19 has been really vital to keep a good state of mind. It’s super easy to find ways to work out at home. Also, some gyms take really, really good care to keep COVID-19 precautions. JCU definitely keeps those precautions, and I don’t feel unsafe there at all.” 

John Carroll has a strict policy for using the gym during the pandemic. The university has short time slots that students need to sign up for in order to use the equipment at the gym, so they can have enough space. It also helps ease the anxieties of students concerned about crowded gyms or contaminated workout areas.

As spring slowly begins to warm up Cleveland, perhaps students can take their at-home workouts outdoors. If students do feel ready and safe to head into a gym, John Carroll’s recreation team is ready to make everyone feel safer, stronger and healthier this year. Overall it is up to the students to do whatever makes them feel comfortable while working out. Whether it’s going to the gym and taking advantage of free equipment or going on a jog around the neighborhood, exercise is important to keep students feeling happy and healthy.