Wellness programs in the workplace are becoming standard in companies of all sizes. Activities such as step competitions, weight loss challenges, meditation, etc. can all be beneficial practices, but a fitness center for your company can be very beneficial to employees. Not only can a gym at the office reduce the costs of employee healthcare, but easy access to a workout can also reduce stress in the workplace, provide a team-building atmosphere, increase job satisfaction and employee retention...
Wellness programs in the workplace are becoming standard in companies of all sizes. Activities such as step competitions, weight loss challenges, meditation, etc. can all be beneficial practices, but a fitness center for your company can be very beneficial to employees. Not only can a gym at the office reduce the costs of employee healthcare, but easy access to a workout can also reduce stress in the workplace, provide a team-building atmosphere, increase job satisfaction and employee retention.
What does a gym in the workplace look like?
If you ask multiple people this question, you will receive multiple answers. An office gym can range from a large facility loaded with a full complement of cardiovascular machines and separate strength stations much like a stand-alone big box gym, or it can be a small room with a couple of pieces of exercise equipment. A small gym can be added as simply as repurposing unused space. An 7X9' area is enough for a commercial treadmill, functional trainer, weight bench and dumbbells.
How much space does an office gym require?
Surprisingly, it doesn't take much room to provide a fully functioning gym at the office. Though a separate room is most preferable to reduce distractions, it is not required. The space needed is directly related to the number of employees that will be using the gym at the same time. When determining equipment usage, the 20% rule is industry standard. If your company has 50 employees, you can generally assume 20% will use the gym regularly (10). Of those 10, 20% will likely use the gym at the same time (2).
What equipment will I need?
Cardiovascular machines are a staple in almost any gym setup. Treadmills are the most popular piece of cardio equipment. A treadmill can be used by a runner or for simply walking. Stationary bikes are a good choice when space is limited. An office gym can be as simple as a treadmill or elliptical, a functional training center, and a bench. This set up allows for a complete workout and only requires approximately 80sqft.
Will I need additional electrical outlets?
Excluding motorized treadmills, the modern fitness equipment industry mostly offers self-powered machines. Motorless treadmills are becoming popular as well. Other than standard motorized treadmills, it is possible that a fully functional gym can be installed that requires no power at all.
Do I need strength equipment?
Some strength equipment can be greatly beneficial. Free weights aren't just for the gentlemen. A set of adjustable dumbbells provide 5lbs – 50lbs in a 2sqft footprint. Add an adjustable bench and a wide variety of workouts can be performed in a small area. If space is available, a functional training station can provide virtually endless exercise possibilities.
Additional equipment considerations:
Accessories are easy to use and do not take up much space. A good compliment of exercise accessories consist of stretching or yoga mats, stretch bands, and weighted balls. Gym wipes or cleaning solution should definitely be included to maintain a clean germ free environment. Require users to wipe equipment after each use. A water cooler or drink refrigerator will help keep users hydrated. A TV can be a great amenity when using the gym space as well as a fan or two.
Try to arrange the equipment in a way that moving parts are out of the way of foot traffic in the gym area. Instruction on use of the equipment can not only increase the benefits an employee will gain by using the equipment properly, but reduce risk of damage or injury from improper use. You may consider requiring a waiver as well.
You do not have to break ground on a fitness facility for the workplace…. an office gym can be created on almost any budget in small spaces. The benefits of an office gym can be great. Help your employees stay fit and healthy, reduce stress, and most of all promote positive attitudes.
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