If you don’t have a fitness center at work, you might not be aware of exactly what that entails. It’s natural to think of big, innovative companies like Google when you think of onsite gyms. What’s often forgotten, however, is that company gyms can range from large-scale, fully-loaded facilities to a single room with some mismatched exercise equipment.
No matter the resources you have, a workplace gym can be an absolute asset to your employees. The fitness centers that are cropping up at companies all over the country can provide a much-needed outlet for stress, a culture of wellness, and a sense of teamwork and camaraderie among your employees.
To take advantage of the benefits a company gym can offer, you only need to invest in the essentials.
You’ll need a space to put your fitness center. Depending on your situation, this can mean adding on to your building, doing a renovation, or even converting an unused space to a gym. At TotalWellness, we’ve converted an unused shipping bay into our worksite gym.
When finding your workout space, remember:
- It needs to be big enough to house exercise equipment and multiple people.
- It needs to be easily accessible so it doesn’t become a burden to work out.
- It should be relatively secluded so the noise doesn’t distract employees who are working at their desks.
Be sure to work with your company’s management to find a space they’re comfortable with using as a workout facility. Keep these things in mind and secure your space before anything else.
You could ask ten people what workout equipment they like, and you'd get ten different answers. When finding the right equipment remember that you can’t please everyone, so you might have to do some compromising.
It’s also important to keep your budget in mind when finding workout equipment. It can get expensive! Don’t be afraid to purchase some secondhand pieces, as long as they’re in pretty good shape.
Be sure to get the basics covered when picking out machines for your office gym:
Cardio: Treadmills are a staple. You can also consider things like ellipticals and stationary bikes, but try to find cardio machines that aren’t difficult to use. If you’re tight on space, consider marking a walking path outside or investing in a couple shared bicycles people can ride around the neighborhood.
Strength: Dumbbells are probably a staple here. Some other go-to’s include a bench press or squat rack. There are also a variety of strength training machines. To get the most bang for your buck, consider investing in machines that can be used for more than one exercise.
Accessories: Fitness accessories are usually something that you don’t have to be an expert to use. Try to get a variety of stretching and yoga mats, exercise balls, medicine balls, Pilates bands and whatever else you can get your hands on. Remember to set aside a space for people to do exercises with this type of equipment.
Obviously people are necessary or your corporate gym will be a huge waste of resources! Talk to your employees to find out what their exercise interests are, and really get excited about bringing a gym to work.
A few things you’ll need to remember include:
- Allow employees time to step away from their desks and get a workout in.
- Train your employees on how to use the equipment so everyone stays safe.
- Have employees sign a liability waiver or conduct agreement to ensure they’re using the gym thoughtfully.
People are truly the most important part of your company gym. The facility should be put together for your employees with the ultimate goal of helping them live healthier, happier lives.
As we said, an onsite gym can be a huge asset to your company and your wellness program. It doesn’t need to be a multimillion dollar investment. Focus on the essentials to get a gym set up at your workplace.
How do you promote physical activity at work?