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Exploring the 2 metre distance in Pilates studios

As the reopening of Gyms and Pilates Studios gets ever closer we take a look at the difference the Social distance limits makes to the amount of Pilates reformers a studio can deploy in their space, which of course is critical to the profitability or even the viability of many Pilates businesses.

So we started exploring the 2m distance in different countries.

The WHO is currently suggesting a Social distance of 1m though in the UK as of 16th June, it was double this at 2m. UKActive who govern the law for UK Pilates Studios says, “Only equipment that is 2m apart will be used – as an example this can either be done via moving equipment or marking every other piece of equipment in the gym out of order (to facilitate social distancing)”. This means the 2m gap must be the gap from edge to edge of the equipment. The 2m rule is however currently under review and many EU and other countries have already reduced their distances down to 1m or 1.5m, some examples are listed below.

Normal gap between reformers = 1.2m (60cm free on both sides to prevent clashing of arms/legs)
UK, Switzerland, USA, Spain, Italy = 2m (80cm lost space per extra machine)
Germany, Poland, Netherlands = 1.5m (30cm lost pace per extra machine)
Austria, Norway, Sweden, Finland = 1m (Normal machine spacing)

So how much difference does it make changing the distance between your machines from pre-COVID to either 2m or 1.5m Social Distancing? The table below shows the space required for a set quantity of reformers based on a reformer of average 66cm width in a studio using reformers from one wall to the other.

It is clear from the table below that the worst effect is on mid-size studios eg. with 5-8 Reformer Studios losing up to 40% capacity depending on the exact measurements of their room. Larger studios of 10- 12 reformers could lose up to 1/3rd of capacity. The good news is that these reductions are halved when social distancing changes from 2m to 1.5m and go altogether at 1m which is a smaller gap than normally used.

Length of room required for number of reformers (metres):

Table showing length of room required for number of reformers in metres

Calculation Example:
  • Quantity of reformer 1:
    • Normal distance: 0.66 (width of reformer) + 1.2 (normal distance) = 1.86m
    • No difference for social distance of 1.5/2m
  • Quantity of reformer 2:
    • Normal distance: 0.66 (width of reformer) + 1.2 (normal distance) + 1.86 (space needed for 1 reformer) = 3.72m
    • Social distance 1.5m: 0.66 + 1.5 + 1.86 = 4.02
    • Social distance 2m: 0.66 + 2 + 1.86 = 4.52

News from customers where COVID is that Studios are beginning to open and operate fairly normally so fingers crossed that this will start happening here before long – in fact the Isle of Man is already leading the way in the UK with no social distancing! If you haven’t read it already you may find our booklet on Tools to Help You Reopen Your Studio useful here.

If we can be of any assistance or you would like to discuss any of the issues raised in this blog or would like to discuss requirements for your Pilates studio, please do not hesitate to contact us at

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