Establish on site fitness rooms or exercise facilities
On-site fitness facilities can range from a TV and VCR or DVD in your conference room available for employees to participate in lunchtime fitness classes, to a fully equipped and staffed, state-of –the-art gymnasium-type facility. It is important to match your company’s goals (i.e. employee satisfaction vs. reduction in healthcare costs) with financial resources available for employee benefits.
It is extremely important to assess your company’s liability when considering an on-site exercise facility. Talk to your company’s legal department and see Appendix C for more detailed information on liability issues.
NOTE: It is strongly recommended that you review the following two books before implementing any on-site fitness room or exercise facility:
- ACSM’s Health/Fitness Facility Standards & Guidelines, Second Ed., American College of Sports Medicine, 1992.
- Health Fitness Management, A Comprehensive Resource for Managing and Operation Programs and Facilities, by William C. Granthan/Robert W. Patton/Tracy D. York/Mitchel L. Winick, Human Kinetics, 1989.
Benefits of an on-site facility
- Potential reduction in overall healthcare costs
- Potential reduction in employee absences
- Improved employee health and fitness
- Increased employee satisfaction
- Increased employee engagement
- Informal building of community networks
- Can aid in the recruitment of top talent
- Can help facilitate a positive company culture
Possible limitations of an on-site facility
- Cost prohibitive
- Space prohibitive
- Falls outside the realm of core business
- Considered a fringe benefit
- Difficult to prove return in investment
How: Steps to take:
- Purchase the two books listed above.
- Read the books to learn about standards, guidelines, liability, and other issues.
- Create a survey to assess employee interest in an on-site facility.
- Talk with your legal department regarding liability issues.
- Consider hiring a qualified consultant or fitness management company to assist in the design, start-up, and possible management of your exercise facility.
- Work closely with your company’s facilities department to assess cost and space issues.
- Write a business plan for your proposed on-site fitness center.
Cost ranges of an on-site facility
- Minimal or no staff (not recommended due to liability issues)
- No locker rooms
- Conference room with TV, VCR, or DVD, mats and exercise balls
- COST: up to $500*
- Minimal staff
- Locker rooms or shower facilities on site
- Dedicated exercise space
- Universal weight-training machine
- 2 – 5 pieces of cardiovascular equipment
- COST: $5,000 - $20,000*
- Staffed with qualified personnel
- Locker rooms
- Fully-equipped gym with strength training and cardiovascular equipment
- Fitness and health promotion programs
- Annual cost: $50,000 - $500,000*
*Cost averages do not include facility construction costs.
American College of Sports Medicine: www.acsm.org
Collage video: www.collagevideo.org
Fitness on the Job: www.fitnessonthejob.com
Fitness Wholesale: www.fwonline.com
HEALTHBREAK, Inc.: www.healthbreakinc.com
Human Kinetics: www.humankinetics.com
Johnson & Johnson Health Care Systems: www.jjhcshealth-fitness.com
Wellness Councils of America: www.welcoa.org