A comprehensive observational audit tool for use in Australian fitness facilities

Shannon Gray, Betul Sekendiz, Kevin Norton , Caroline Finch

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A purposely designed observational audit tool (OAT) was developed following review of literature and international standards/guidelines for fitness facilities. The OAT was trialled to assess the physical environment of a sample of fitness facilities and determine its inter-rater reliability. Ten Victorian fitness facilities were visited to test the tool's inter-rater reliability, then 22 metropolitan and regional facilities in Victoria ranging in size and type were audited. A high degree of reliability was found (inter-rater reliability κ = 0.659 (p < 0.005); 95% CI (0.633, 0.685)); intra-class correlation = 0.985 (F474,948 = 67.226, p < 0.005, 95% CI (0.983, 0.987)). On average, facilities were colder and darker than international standards/guidelines specified. Distances around cardiovascular equipment varied between facilities. Free equipment was observed lying on floors in 66% (n = 21) of facilities. Twenty-seven facilities had signs instructing users to replace weights after use (66%). Only 19 (59%) facilities enforced towel use; however, 94% (n = 30) had disinfectant stations. The auditing of fitness facilities indicates more should be done at facilities to reduce injury risk.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)306-317
Number of pages12
JournalTheoretical Issues in Ergonomics Science
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 4 Jul 2017


  • exercise
  • fitness centre
  • Injury
  • risk management
  • safety

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