Fitness in America is a billion dollar industry, with a projection of $87.5 billion in 2018. The fitness industry grew to approximately 200,000 clubs worldwide, serving 162 million members. With the growing number of people who acquire gym and fitness centers membership, also comes the risk of physical injuries among customers – may it be from over-exertion, incorrect form and technique, and faulty equipment, among other causes. Some of the most common injuries range from muscle pain, splints, strain, and sprain to more serious ones such as fractures, joint dislocations, tears, and tendon ruptures. Here are some of the risk factors and ways to avoid them.
Over-exertion and Improper Form
Whether you are weightlifting, engaging in group exercise, or running on the treadmill, you are at risk of injury if you are not aware of the proper form and technique in exercise, as well as the proper progression of your workouts. One way to avoid this is to listen to your body. If you feel an unusual pain on a certain area of your body while exercising, stop right away. Every individual has a different threshold for pain and intensity, based on their body composition and what phase they are in their workout program; and this is why it is important to seek the help of a professional, licensed, and qualified trainer who can monitor your form and technique as you execute the workout program.
Unqualified Fitness Trainers
A qualified fitness professional can give you a workout program that is tailored fit for you and your fitness goals. However, there are those who work at fitness centers and represent themselves as experts, but lack the proper credentials and background to do the job. Not only are they not going to be effective, you are also at a huge risk of getting injured under their supervision. When getting a fitness coach, make sure to look for certificates and degrees; as well as for reputable institutions from which the degrees are acquired.
Faulty Gym Equipment
No matter how tedious you are when it comes to our workout program, it is sometimes the machines themselves that betray you. Defective gym equipment and machines are huge risk factors in physical injuries among customers. To avoid such injuries, it is best to examine the machine first before use, and alert the staff if the equipment seems to be in need of fixing and maintenance.
Moreover, gyms and fitness centers have the duty to keep their patrons safe; however, customers may be limited by the liability waiver they signed upon enrollment in terms of filing a lawsuit in the event of an injury. Some waivers attempt to give total immunity for gyms. Others may try to restrict liability for equipment-related injuries, but may not cover instances in which the gym had negligence in the proper maintenance of the machines. A products liability lawsuit can potentially be filed against the manufacturer of the equipment, in case the machine used had a design defect, manufacturing defect, and marketing defect. The gyms can also be held liable if they knew that the equipment was defective and failed to remove or fix it. Products liability is an intricate area of the law, so it is important to seek the advice of a personal injury attorney if you plan on making a claim.
If you’re suffering from a physical injury at a gym, contact us at Hogan Injury for expert legal advice.
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