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Establish on site fitness rooms or exercise facilities

Why:

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.

Liability Issues: 

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

Minimum

  • 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*

Intermediate

  • 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*

Advanced

  • 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.

Resources:

  • 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