Exercise is one of the most important parts of our lives. As our jobs and wider lifestyles have become more sedentary, regular exercise is even more essential than ever for keeping us healthy. Around a third of men and more than 40% of women are not active enough to keep themselves in good health1. Gyms and leisure centres are vital in the national effort to combat obesity and poor physical health.

High traffic and complex needs

Around 14% of the UK population are currently a member of a gym2. This figure equates to almost ten million people. With almost 3,500 gyms and fitness centres in the UK, each facility has an average of about 2,900 members3. Moreover, 76% of people go to the gym two or more times a week2. That’s a lot of people to manage coming in and out of gyms safely.

It’s essential that gyms are a secure facility where members can exercise in peace. It’s also important to remember that the customers of a gym or leisure centre are hugely varied, with hugely varied needs. From everyday body builders to children’s swimming lessons and disabled or less mobile people, gyms must account for everybody. This is true not only of their facilities but of their security and access control systems too.

Balancing security and convenience

Large numbers of people arrive and leave gyms at irregular intervals. There will often be a significant rush immediately after working hours. In January, gyms always see huge uplifts in user numbers when people still think this year will be the year they stick to their New Year’s resolutions.

The two most important factors for access in gyms and leisure centres are security and convenience. Facilities need to know who’s inside the building and ensure only authorised people can enter. However, they also need to make it quick and easy for people to gain access and get on with their activities. Too heavy-handed an approach to security puts off members and visitors and may result in big queues at busy times.

Online access control – a centralised solution

An online access control system is the ideal solution for balancing security with convenience. Gyms can give members flexibility to come and go as they please, while being confident in the security of the building. By centralising access control, large sites can be managed all from the same place.

ATRIUM Access Control

ATRIUM online access control supports up to 10,000 users and up to 1,000 access levels. Access levels define different types of entry permissions. With a wide range of facilities on offer in leisure centres, access levels are an easy way to manage the complex entry requirements for different memberships and visitor options. Some members may have access to the gym, but not the pool or spa. Others may be able to enter sports facilities, but not the gym. Some members may need access to everything. Nuanced access levels make managing this complexity easy.

Security in ATRIUM

The core principal of ATRIUM access control is to ensure that only authorised people can enter restricted areas at permitted times. At any other times and for any unauthorised people, doors, gates, and turnstiles remain locked. Staff can be confident that only people with the right permission are inside restricted areas. In the meantime, employees’ time can be better spent delivering better customer service to visitors and potential new members.

Convenience in ATRIUM

For gym members and visitors, a centralised access control system means ease of use. All they need is their credential. Whether they use a swipe card, a keypad code, or biometric factors like their fingerprint, they can get wherever they need to go easily. There’s no queuing for reception and no waiting for staff members to find the right key for the right door. A member just turns up, presents their credential, and they’re in. With a centralised system, the same credential can be used throughout the building.

High security biometric technology

Centralised access control makes security easy and access convenient. Biometric technology takes both of these elements one step further.

No more card sharing – maximising membership revenue

Swipe cards are traditional, cost-effective, and simple. But how does a gym ensure that members are not sharing their cards with friends and family? With the addition of biometric fingerprint or facial recognition technology, card sharing is a thing of the past. Biometric data cannot be shared or stolen. Only individuals with active, paid memberships can enter the building and use the facilities.

Ultimate convenience

Biometric security systems also make accessing the facility easier than ever. For a card swipe system, members have to bring a physical card. For a keypad system, they must remember a code. With a biometric system, they need only have their fingers or their face to hand – something would be very wrong if either of these were left at home!

Biometrics means members can simply turn up. CDVI’s ievo fingerprint readers and iface™ facial recognition take mere seconds to analyse and verify identity. Gym-goers can be inside and on a treadmill quickly and with ease.

Car park automation

As well as securing access to the whole building, ATRIUM can even include the car park. With the ACPR add-on licence, members’ registration plates are added to their user profile. In conjunction with any plate recognition camera with a 26-bit Wiegand output, cars can be automatically let in and out of the car park. Enhance security and convenience across the whole site with ATRIUM access control.

Benefits for everyone

Actively monitoring and controlling who’s going in and out of gyms and leisure centres can be challenging. For staff, members, and visitors, it’s vital that everyone feels safe and secure in the facility. Online access control provides a sleek solution. Only those with reason to be there can get into the site and access the facilities.

  • Regular gym users can turn up and self-service their access, getting on with their workout as soon as possible.
  • Parents can bring children to swimming lessons, safe in the knowledge that only authorised people are in the pool area.
  • Sports clubs and teams can organise regular sessions and meet with no hassle.

Find out more about access and security solutions for gyms and leisure centres today!

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