Open the Acadia University Athletics Complex
To Acadia University Faculty in charge of decisions regarding COVID-19,
We, the undersigned, request that along with in-person classes that the Acadia Athletics facility be re-opened to students and the general public. Having access to a gym, for many individuals, is not simply a luxury, but an essential factor in maintaining health and achieving academic excellence. With the university opening with in-person classes and Nova Scotia moving to move towards reopening services, we believe Acadia should do their part by providing this service to the community.
According to the Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology, individuals aged 18+ should complete 150mins/week of moderate-to-vigorous exercise in addition to muscle and bone-strengthening exercise at least twice a week to maintain health. As the majority of students are in-class during the winter months, when outdoor exercise becomes increasingly more difficult, many rely on gym facilities to meet these recommendations. Regular exercise positively benefits mental health by reducing and preventing stress, depression, and anxiety while boosting happiness, energy, and self-esteem.
Physically, exercise is essential for promoting bone and muscle strength, as well as longevity1. In addition, exercise is an important aspect of promoting a healthy and strong immune system to defend the body from illness. An antioxidant produced by the body during exercise has been shown to prevent and lessen the severity of several heart and lung diseases and is believed to have a similar effect with COVID-19.
Students who engage in regular physical activity; “graduate at higher rates, and earn on average, a full GPA point higher than their counterparts who do not exercise”. Physical activity has been proven to improve attention and memory and thus overall academic performance.
Premier Stephen McNeil gave permission for fitness facilities to re-open in Nova Scotia as of June 5th, 2020 . Many gym facilities in Nova Scotia have re-opened to serve their clients by implementing proper protocols, such as ensuring social distance is maintained, providing hygiene stations, posting signage, and enforcing occupation capacity limits. Acadia University should also take the necessary steps required to reopen their facilities for the benefit and wellness of their students and the community.