What happened

Shares of Peloton Interactive (PTON -0.55%) climbed 3.2% on Thursday. Fears of getting infected with COVID-19 are driving many people to exercise at home -- and Peloton is meeting the surging demand for quality home-based exercise equipment.

So what 

COVID-19 case counts are increasing at an alarming rate across the U.S. and much of the rest of the world. Moreover, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that it could not rule out the possibility that the novel coronavirus spreads via airborne transmission in "indoor crowded spaces." 

A woman rides a Peloton exercise bike at home while watching a fitness class.

Peloton's exercise equipment is in high demand. Image source: Peloton.

WHO specifically listed fitness classes as examples of such places. It also said people who had "close physical contact" or who "were in enclosed spaces for approximately one hour or more" with people who were infected with COVID-19 and symptomatic were at increased risk of infection. WHO cited gyms as enclosed places where this type of exposure could occur.

Now what

Fears of getting sick are leading many people to work out at home rather than at crowded -- and potentially dangerous -- gyms. In turn, demand for high-quality home-based fitness equipment is booming.

Peloton is supplying former gym-goers with some of the tools they need to stay healthy. Sales of the company's internet-connected exercise bikes and treadmills are soaring -- a trend that's likely to continue at least until the COVID-19 crisis subsides.