Mui Wo gym isn’t getting a workout

The government-run fitness centre in Mui Wo is the least-used in Hong Kong, according to figures compiled by a legislator.

Luk Chung-hung, Legco member for the pro-Beijing labour organisation FTU, says the Mui Wo centre was used at a rate of just 14% in 2015 and 2016.

Other under-used government gyms include those at Ap Lei Chau, Kowloon Park, Tseung Kwan O and Peng Chau.

By contrast Ngau Tau Kok, the most heavily-used Leisure and Cultural Services Dept (LCSD) fitness centre, has had a utilisation rate of 98% and 85% in the last two years.

Luk told a press conference last week that the figures show the utilization rate of all 74 gyms  is at a long-term low, Oriental Daily reports.

In most cases the less popular centres were the smallest.

Of the 17 least-used gyms in the first three months of the year, 13 were smaller than 100 square metres and had a utilisation rate of below 50%.  But of the 13 that were bigger than 170 square metres, just three were below the 50% mark.

The legislator said in some centres the equipment was old and damaged, while people were also deterred by the requirement that they register and attend a briefing in order to become a member.

Lu said all new gyms should be at least 100 sq metres in size. He called on the department to better resource the fitness centres and to review their “distribution, targeting and functions.”

UPDATE: According to Luk’s office, the LCSD formula for measuring utilisation is the number of users ÷ maximum user capacity.  The capacity number varies between peak and off-peak periods.  Every gym user needs has to sign their name before entering, so the number of users can be calculated by counting signatures.

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