Tips for Planning an Office Fitness Center
Having an in-office fitness center can be very beneficial for both companies and employees. For employers, having a fitness center available can be a way to make your office more attractive to new talent. And if wellness plays a key part in a company’s culture, fitness centers are a great way to make it easier for employees to make personal wellness a priority. On the other hand, employees can appreciate the convenience of not having to pay for a gym membership and the direct benefits of exercise, like reduced stress and improved morale.
Creating an in-office fitness center that employees will love takes some careful planning to make sure it’s comfortable and functional. Here are a few key things to consider.
Ask for Employee Input
To get the most of an office fitness center, it’s important to understand what people would want from it. If the people at your company overwhelmingly tend to prefer things like yoga and pilates over cardio, a fitness room full of treadmills and stationary bikes is likely to go underused. Or if your employees seem to have varied workout preferences, including a good range of equipment options will help make sure everybody feels included.
The Space for Your Gym
How large your fitness room should be largely depends on how large your company is and how many people are expected to regularly use it. A fitness room that is too cramped and doesn’t provide enough room for people is, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, potentially unsafe. One good rule of thumb to keep in mind is to allow for at least 16 inches of space between pieces of aerobic equipment. For safety reasons, treadmills should have at least 47 inches of space behind the back edge of the walking surface. Working with an experienced design firm on your project will help make sure your fitness center is a comfortable size.
Also, don’t forget about your ceiling height. Some types of fitness machines, such as vertical climbers, can require additional vertical space. And even equipment that isn’t quite as tall can still end up making people feel cramped if the ceiling is low.
It’s also very important to make sure your fitness room will be located in a place that’s convenient for people to use. When it comes to working out, the concept of “out of sight, out of mind” can easily come into play.
Equipment Warranties & Maintenance
Since gyms can be very heavily used spaces that get a lot of wear and tear, it’s important to make sure the equipment you choose for your fitness center will stay in usable condition for as long as possible. First, you’ll want to be sure to look for commercial grade fitness equipment, not residential grade fitness equipment. Residential fitness equipment is designed for light use; typically being used for short amounts of time each day by very few people. Commercial grade fitness equipment is designed to keep up with the demands of more frequent use by many people. It’s made with higher quality, more durable components to help the equipment last longer.
As you think about the equipment you want to put in your gym, pay close attention to any warranties, maintenance contracts, and after-sales service options that might come with it. Since things like treadmills are prone to breaking down over time, especially with heavy use, it’s essential to understand what repair services, exactly, will be available to you. Over time, these services may end up being very valuable.
It’s very easy for fitness centers to get noisy. While some noise can be energizing to people who are working out, you’ll want to make sure there are acoustic measures in place to make sure noise from the gym doesn’t bother others who are trying to focus on their work.
Interested in adding a fitness center to your office? Premier Construction & Design has experience working on these types of spaces for companies in the Metro Detroit area. Contact us today so that we can learn more about your project.