At a community event on Saturday (8 Sep), Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong told his residents that more gyms will be open to cater to the elderly and disabled in Singapore.
They will be built in mature Housing Board estates. The first such gym is expected to open in his GRC at the Ang Mo Kio Community Centre next year. The number of community centres with senior-friendly gyms is expected to increase to five by the end of next year. Presumably, more gyms would be open thereafter.
The gym equipment will also have a mechanism to track users' exercise data. Senior citizens will receive membership cards that they will scan on the exercise equipment before using it. This will let the machines capture the users' exercise data. In other words, from the data, an individual's health situation can be monitored.
However, the use of community gyms, which fall under the People's Association (PA), is not free. Those under 55 will be charged $2.50 per entry while elderly above 55 will pay $1.50. They will get free entry on Wednesdays.
According to the population data from the Department of Statistics, as of last year, the number of Singapore residents who were 55 years and above was 1.08 million. This figure can only increase as more Singapore residents hit 55 years old.
And according to experts, it is advisable to exercise at least 3 times a week to stay fit and healthy.
So, since Wednesday is already free for residents to use the gyms, the elderly will have to pay for the other 2 days per week if he wants to keep fit. That means, in 1 year, he will be paying 104 times for a total of $156 a year.
Assuming 10% of the elderly above 55 would like to keep to the above exercise regime at the gyms in community centres, that means, using 2017 population data, at least 100,000 elderly Singapore residents would be going to the public gyms.
That is to say, at least $15 million can be generated in a year for PA, out from the elderly using these new gym equipment at the community centres. Those younger residents below 55 have yet to be included in the calculations.
In any case, PM Lee should be happy to know that the community gyms would be funding itself and perhaps even make profits for PA.