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"How You Can Avoid the Top Fitness Centre Mistakes"

Corporate Wellness

Most corporate gyms are a poor investment.  Avoid the biggest mistakes.

Companies routinelyspend millions of dollars building “state of the art” corporate fitness centres.  These facilities are beautiful to look at, but unfortunately they are generally a waste of hard earned money!

You may think it’s strange that a fitness centre design company is claiming that corporate wellness facilities are a waste of money.  We absolutely believe that fitness centres CAN be a great benefit.  However, the traditional “health club” model used for most corporate facilities is the actual problem.

This model is based on installing lots of equipment such as isolated exercise machines (ie. selectorized circuits) and cardio equipment, and ensuring that people have cheap or no cost access to it.  The issue with this model, is that it’s proven to be ineffective for decades.  Think of it this way…statistics show that over 80% of people who have a gym membership, fail to use it on a weekly basis!

In our humble opinion, this completely defeats the purpose of having a fitness centre.  Now, if you are in the business of owning a “health” club, this is a fantastic business model.  You can charge thousands of members a monthly fee and know that only a handful of people will actually use your facility!  The average “big chain health club can have 5,000-10,000 members, yet only around 1000 of them will come regularly.  That’s why they can charge such low membership fees.  The people who don’t come are subsidizing the rates for those who do attend.

If your goal is to make a profit, this works great!  However, for a company investing in employee health and wellness, you actually WANT people to use the gym regularly, and to use it PROPERLY!  This is the entire reason that FRESH! exists.  Our goal is to ensure that each person we work with is able to transform their fitness, and lifestyle by building healthy daily habits.  To us, continuing to follow a model where over 80% of people fail, and fall through the cracks is unethical.

It’s a proven fact that employees who exercise regularly are healthier, happier, more loyal, and cost the company less money in medical and drug costs over time.  However, most people don’t exercise regularly.

The top 5 excuses people use for failing to exercise regularly are: Time, Money, Resources, Knowledge, and Motivation.  Companies that build a fitness facilitycan remove ALL of these barriers, assuming that the facility is properly designed and managed.

This is where most companies fall flat.  They use the health club model and throw a bunch of equipment in a room.  Sure, it may be fancy, expensive equipment, and you may even have a trained monkey on-site to ensure that people don’t hurt themselves.  However, that only solves the problem of access.  It’s available, but people still won’t use it.

Remember, your goal as a company is to ensure that your employees have access to the right tools, but more importantly that they know how to use them properly, are excited about it, and motivated to actually use the tools on a regular basis!

Companies are often shocked when we say that they are better off setting aside a small empty room and hiring a knowledgeable professional to educate and motivate people, rather than building out a traditional fitness centre.

It’s true!  Those who are motivated to exercise on their own, will do it regardless of whether you have a corporate fitness facility.  They are also the ones who are already (generally) healthy, fit, and cost the company the least amount of money.

From a company perspective, the people who “hate the gym” and would never step foot inside one are the biggest opportunity for change, cost savings, and long term productivity!

Traditional gyms intimidate these people, and in truth, are useless for helping them get results.  Yet, a properly designed and implemented Corporate Wellness Facility (notice how we didn’t say “gym”) is a vital part of an overall Corporate Wellness Program, and can provide an excellent return on your strategic investment!  Don’t have a Corporate Wellness Program?  Click here to visit our Corporate Wellness Division!

The FRESH! approach is to:

  • Work with you to define your goals for a corporate wellness facility
  • Determine whether a facility is actually the best use of your financial and real estate resources (it isn’t always, and we are happy to help clients realize this).
  • Build the most strategically planned and functional space possible for your employees (which may or may not look like a typical gym)
  • Ensure the facility is properly managed, operated, maintained, and that it is effectively promoted to employees across the organization.
  • Track key metrics and provide you regular reports and strategy recommendations surrounding health and wellness.

Regardless of the size of your organization, if you have considered designing a fitness centre for your employees, the best investment you can make is to spend a couple hours with the experts at FRESH! to get professional advice on the business case, strategy, and planning of the facility.  This will save you 10’s of thousands of dollars and dramatically improve the usage and effectiveness of your fitness centre.

Just click here to contact us.  We will set up a meeting to discuss your plans.


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What type of corporate wellness facility is best for my company?  Widget asks the following questions…

  • How many employees? (Scale : <50, 51-100, 101-500, 501-1000, >1000)
  • Do you have employees at multiple site locations?
  • Do you have a company wide corporate wellness strategy and formal wellness program based on a year round calendar of events, education, and tracked metrics?
  • What is your employee demographic base?

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