Effective, inviting, engaging! You can't make your corporate fitness center all things to all people, but you will want to give some thought to these four key considerations if you're investing in an onsite facility.
* Space - follow our easy steps to determine how much space you need * Money - learn the key budget considerations for a corporate fitness center * Liability - manage your organizational liability effectively * Enthusiasm - find out how to create and sustain enthusiasm inside your facility to generate return on your investment
If you are developing a corporate fitness facility, you won't want to miss these key considerations.
This is your employee…in fact, statistics show that this is about 25-30% of your employees; roughly 2/3 of your employee base are either overweight or obese. And this employee cost you about $1,500 above baseline each year in healthcare costs and $400 more due to absenteeism and presenteeism.Obesity costs a 1000-employee company approximately $285,000 per year.
According to the National Health Interview Survey, 31% of adults report not getting enough leisure time pa (20 minutes at moderate intensity most days of the week or 30 minutes of vigorous intensity 3x per week). More data from the survey can be found on the CDC site.
Employees spend more than half of their waking hours at work. This makes employees a captive audience for health promotion messages. Plus, employees may be more likely to attend a health screening or educational Lunch and Learn session if theydon’t have to spend more time away from home to do it. What if we used that time with a captive audience to create an active audience?Creating an exercise space at work breaks down the two most common barriers people present for not exercising: time (convenience…making the healthy choice the easy choice) cost
If you have to retro fit, can you make a meeting room work? Will a storage space hold what you need it to hold? Will allow for expansion if your program is wildly successful? Those questions can be answered by working through some basic math to get a starting point on how much space you really need for your workforce.
That’s TOTAL square feet – locker rooms, storage, office, group fitness, fitness floor. There are some recommended breakdowns/percentages for those subcategories of space.
Now that you know roughly how much space you will need, you have to determine if you can afford to build, equip, and staff the facility.
You don’t want to throw your money down the drain here – the goal is a healthier workforce and to accomplish that, you need the right tools. Let’s start by talking about capital costs.2,700 SF fitness centerCardiovascular equipmentStrength equipmentSmall equipment/GF equipmentBuild CostsDesign Costs
How much do you think it cost to have the large equipment placed in this facility?Emily is going to launch a quick poll where you can tell me your estimate of what you think this collection of equipment would cost.USE A POLL!If you want to talk specifics about pieces of equipment, we can discuss that offline, or you can work with suppliers in your area. This isn’t a webinar about how to choose the best quality/safest products, so I’m not going to really get into that here, but if you want to send me an email following the webinar, I’m happy to answer those kinds of questions based on my experience.
Final quote for this project = $63,000If you want to talk specifics about pieces of equipment, we can discuss that offline, or you can work with suppliers in your area. This isn’t a webinar about how to choose the best quality/safest products, so I’m not going to really get into that here, but if you want to send me an email following the webinar, I’m happy to answer those kinds of questions based on my experience.
We’ve talked about start up costs – now let’s shift to your ongoing/upkeep costs2,700 SF fitness centerPreventive Maintenance Frequency depends on your equipment and volume of use; new equipment is under warranty, so any work should be done by warranty techs. After the warranty expires, 2-4 times per year is generally sufficient. Regular schedule is probably more important than frequency
We’ve talked about start up costs – now let’s shift to your ongoing/upkeep costs2,700 SF fitness centerUtilities Probably small stuff in the grand scheme of business expenses, but it’s worth noting that you have more than just electricity…probably a separate hot water heater, water use, if you launder towels onsite, that increases both capital and utility costs.
We’ve talked about start up costs – now let’s shift to your ongoing/upkeep costs2,700 SF fitness centerSmall equipment repair/replacementInitially, you shouldn’t need much of a replacement budget, but within 2-3 years, depending on the frequency and type of use, some of your smaller implements may need to be replaced and within about 5 years, you’ll want to start looking at replacing some of your cardio. Replacements on capital will probably be required in anywhere in the 7-10 year time frame.Programming/PrizesCertainly not a required piece of your budget, but it’s something you’ll want to consider as you try to generate and maintain enthusiasm for using the facility down the line. And it’s the perfect segue into the last point on this slide…
We’ve talked about start up costs – now let’s shift to your ongoing/upkeep costs2,700 SF fitness centerStaffingMore than providing design consult and build recommendations, NIFS provides staffing, so I could go on at length here. Let me just go over some basic staffing questions you’ll need to answer after you’ve determine whether or not you want to staff; each of these questions comes with a host of pro’s and con’s. In-house vs contractedFT vs PTFree services vs fee-based servicesWe’re going to talk about using staff to manage liability in our next section, but before we move onto that, let’s pause for a minute to see what questions you’re posing out there.
If you have committed to building, equipping/staffing the fitness center, you will want to manage your organizational liability.Before we get into too much detail on this topic, I want to start with a quick poll that will help me understand your perceptions about managing liability in a worksite fitness center.LAUNCH POLL
ProsDegreed/certified professionals will decrease liability (ACSM standards, quality assurance measures, membership procedures, etc)Inviting atmosphere for novice (capture more than the 15%)Easier to tie FC with organizational wellness programProgramming diversityConsCostManaging staff in area of limited expertise (if in-house)
Consider case law In some jurisdictions, waivers don’t hold up well b/c they convey the image/potential for lack of care. Interesting case law about a woman at a Powerhouse gym who had an accident on an indoor cycling class bike. Tell story (signed up, same day, came into class, told instructor she was new, got basic set up on bike. When class stood to ride, the handlebars fell off and she fell to the floor sustaining upper back/extremity issues that left her in chronic pain. She sued the bike manufacturer – they settled out of court She also sued Power house claiming gross negligence. Ultimately, the court found that Powerhouse had a legitimate waiver/release that was signed by the member which they were willing to uphold and they had no liability in this case.Consider best practices Clearly communicate the key provisions of the waiver Add PAR-Q – put a little responsibility on the EE to know their health and the risks with exerciseAdd statutory WC language; renew waivers according to state laws
Require signed waiver prior to granting badge accessBadge access will also provide some utilization dataBadge access requires additional “piggy-back” policy
Listing of types of things that go in to procedures Hours Guest use Eligibility for Membership Services (with staffing) Appropriate attire Emergency ProceduresRequire acknowledgement of receipt of fitness center policies with waiverAdd to/adjust as needed
Mount a first aid kit in the fitness center Add emergency phones/buttons/cords to the facility Connect to local EMS or to company security Mount an AED in the fitness center10 minute ruleBadge access facility Post policies for emergencies and train members on protocol
Now that you have committed to building, equipping, and staffing the fitness center, and you have taken the appropriate steps to manage your organizational liability, you will want to consider how to create and sustain buzz around your corporate fitness center.
It’s not rocket science - Kick off event with lasting incentive It’s not a one-and-done project – it has to be ongoingTie visits to contributions to HSA, wellness points, etcStimulate departmental competition with culminating partyStaff can program to keep members using the facility and to draw in new membersConnect fitness center to other company activitiesCharitable giving campaigns (treadmill marathons)Community events (walks/runs)Plan for the future by creating a budget and timeline for adding new equipment and programs
This four-part checklist was designed to get you started. Consider consulting with an expert on facility design equipment selection, staffing considerations, and program design.
Considerations for building a corporate fitness center
Bethany Garrity, MS, HFS<br />Director, Fitness Center Management<br />Checklist for Building an Onsite Corporate Fitness Center<br />
Obesity Trends* Among U.S. AdultsBRFSS, 1990, 1999, 2008<br />(*BMI 30, or about 30 lbs. overweight for 5’4” person)<br />1999<br />1990<br />2008<br />No Data <10% 10%–14% 15%–19% 20%–24% 25%–29% ≥30%<br />Source: BRFSS, CDC<br />
Single working parents<br />Endless sugary drink options<br />Roads without sidewalks<br />Unsafe neighborhoods<br />Lack of access to healthy food<br />Dual income households<br />How did we get here?<br />Stairs are unsafe and hard to find<br />Automobile only access<br />Family dinners disappear<br />Lack of access to places to be physically active<br />24/7 Fast Food<br />Transportation<br />High traffic – 4-5 lane intersections<br />Roads without Bike lanes<br />Building Design<br />
We hold these truths to be self evident…<br />We don’t move enough.<br />We pay a lot for preventable disease.<br />We could pay a lot less if we moved more.<br />
Create a kick off event with lasting incentive<br />Provide staffing who can program for new/existing members<br />Connect fitness center use to other company activities<br />Plan for the future<br />
Building a worksite fitness center requires serious consideration and expertise to create an inviting, useful and effective space. <br />
What questions do you have about your checklist?<br />Bethany Garrity | (317) 274-3432 x208 | firstname.lastname@example.org<br />