Inside Edition Investigation Finds Some People Still Aren’t Wearing Masks at Gyms Where They’re Mandatory

A leading environmental health expert said what we observed in several New York gyms was "disturbing."

Gyms across the country are open for business, but if you want to work out at the gym, the CDC says face masks are a must. Inside Edition sent investigative producer Josh Bernstein to some of the nation’s largest gyms, where face masks are mandatory.

And what we found is disturbing.

At one LA Fitness in Long Island, we observed a man huffing and puffing without wearing a mask as he struggled to lift the weight. Others were boxing with their faces fully exposed. Everywhere we looked, there were people working out with their face masks below their chin. 

Another patron was on the treadmill for more than 20 minutes with his face​ fully exposed the entire time. “Are you worried that you could put someone else at risk?” Bernstein asked him. “No, as I said, that's the gym's job,” he said.

Despite numerous signs saying “mask up” at a New York Planet Fitness, one girl was seen sprinting on the treadmill with her face mask down below her chin.

Another woman had her mask around her neck. “I noticed inside that you weren't wearing your face mask?” Bernstein asked her as she got into her car. “I was wearing it,” she said.

When asked if what we observed was a danger to other gym patrons, a Planet Fitness manager told Inside Edition, “Absolutely. Every time someone has it down, we either tell them to put it back up or if they do it enough times, we kick them out."

NYU professor Dr. Jack Caravanos said the videos are “disturbing.”

“You have people working out, breathing very heavily, exercising and during that motion, they're really releasing a lot of particles,” Caravanos said.

When you run on the treadmill without a mask, your breathing is heavier, making it easier for the particles to travel "up to 32 feet" and contaminate an entire area, according to Caravanos.

That’s why it’s so important to mask-up and stop the spread the next time you hit the gym.

Planet Fitness told us the well-being of their employees and customers is their No. 1 priority and they expect all their locations to adhere to their high standards of COVID-19 safety protocol. LA Fitness says it requires face coverings in accordance with state law, adding that it encourages all patrons to comply.