More Than Fitness: 4 Reasons Your Gym Should Have An AED

Have An AED
The use of an automatic external defibrillator in conducting a basic cardiopulmonary resuscitation to the victim on the street

According to the American Red Cross, sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) is one of the top causes of death reported every year, and these cases usually happen outside of hospitals.  

Schools, malls, and gyms – public places brimming with people in various health states are spaces where personal injuries and SCAs usually happen.  And with this in mind, business owners, especially gym owners, should be equipped with an automatic external defibrillator (AED).

Fitness centers and health clubs must always be equipped and trained to use AEDs.  In addition to this equipment, knowing how to administer first aid is vital for when circumstances occur, and they need to help someone in emergencies. These spaces are where people work on their health which means a lot of at-risk individuals, those with illnesses like diabetes, hypertension, and heart disease, might be found here.

Some states also require these types of facilities to have AEDs along with signages that inform employees and clients about the equipment. Here are additional resources on state laws to ensure compliance for your business.

The most important reason to invest in an AED, though, is so that you can respond immediately to emergencies.  To know the fundamental reasons for AED in fitness hubs, here are four reasons your gym should have it. 

1. High-Risk Space

Aside from injuries directly related to sports or strenuous activities, ministroke might also happen inside health facilities like gyms and health clubs. Exertion and intense body movements may trigger previous injuries or create new ones.

Some illnesses are don’t manifest in their early stages; thus, some people think they are healthy and continue to work out.  Since gyms have different people going in and out every day, it’s vital to remember that SCA emergencies can also happen.  Strenuous activities inside fitness clubs increase the probability of triggering heart conditions. 

2. Improves Survival Rate

Research shows that having an AED within premises increases the survival rate of SCA victims to as high as 50% to 70%.  Factors that may influence an individual’s risk of SCA depend on their genes and lifestyle.  Sometimes, early signs and symptoms aren’t noticed, and people go on with their routines thinking everything is alright. 

When a bystander administers CPR before emergency medical services (EMS) arrives, the survival rate soared from 9% to 38% when AED is used, and shock is delivered.  This shows how vital having AED is inside your premises.  

Do note that SCA is caused by factors inside the heart to stop pumping blood inside the body suddenly. Every second counts; this is why it is logical for gyms to have an AED and first aid trained employees available on-site.

3. Mandated By State Laws 

There are 250,000 Americans who suffer from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest annually.  Thousands die every year simply because an AED wasn’t on hand when SCA happened.  It is critical to know that every second counts when responding to SCAs.  

Although there are no federal regulations for having AEDs inside health hubs, most states crafted their own regulations on having AEDs on hand inside health facilities, gyms, and schools. 

 It’s good to remember that there are facilities that keep AEDs on hand even if they’re not mandated because it’s part of their duty of care.  

Main reasons why states are requiring health clubs and fitness centers to have an AED are: 

  • The cost of AED purchase and employee training on its proper use is relatively more inexpensive, especially when you consider the possible results of inaction in the event of a patron’s death.
  • The sooner medical care is given to a person experiencing a heart attack, the better their chances of survival.

4. Liability Protection

Going to the gym means expecting to gain access to the best equipment, tools, and personnel to support you reach your fitness goals.  Some facilities may ask beginners to sign waivers the cover eventualities like accidents and injuries.  These waivers, however, if not legally sound, can’t deter any lawsuits in events where an aggrieved party decides to take you to court.  

So, to cover all bases, gym owners must come up with a well-written waiver in addition to having the appropriate emergency response equipment and training in place.  Knowing that your facility is a secure and safe place by putting these preventive measures in place can help lower insurance liability premiums.  

It is, however, also critical to remember that in case of injuries or accidents, personnel and gym owners are mandated to provide assistance under ‘duty to care.’ This means businesses have the legal responsibility to help out anyone on their premises in case of injuries, illness, peril, or otherwise incapacitated. Entities who violate this duty by neglecting a suffering person or acting recklessly and creating harm to others become liable and can be persecuted by law. 

Although different states have their own version of this law, factors worth considering when determining if negligence happened are as follows: 

  • The degree to the suffering of the injured party
  • Foreseeability of harm to an injured party
  • Availability, commonness, and cost of insurance for risks that were involved
  • The closeness of the connection between the defendant’s behavior and the damages or plaintiff’s injury 


Although going to the gym is beneficial for one’s health, sometimes, it is essential to remember that this type of place is prone to personal injuries and may be a source of triggers for cardiac problems like SCA. 

With the number of incidents of SCA outside hospitals happening, AEDs are now being treated like fire extinguishers.  Having the appropriate equipment to address emergencies and employees who are trained to use these may mean more lives are spared and fewer liabilities for the gym owners. (

Even though states have different scopes and coverage of health club regulations, many gym owners go out of their way to provide their staff with the appropriate training and correct equipment as part of their ‘duty to care.’ Having preventative measures in place takes away their liability in case of accidents, injuries, destruction of property, or even death. 

Take note, SCAs don’t just happen to high-risk individuals; they can happen to anyone, so it’s essential to remain alert and to keep an eye on the people around you so you can prevent injuries or loss of life.


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