Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Corporate Gym Memberships Promote Wellness

More companies are encouraging employees to get healthy.
More companies are encouraging employees to get healthy.
Image: Shutterstock

Have you ever heard of something called a corporate gym membership? I hadn’t either, until recently. And now that I am, I’m honestly super impressed.

I’m not a member of a gym, per se (instead I pay for a membership to a yoga studio), but I used to be. Gym memberships can range in price from quite inexpensive ($25 per month) to a little too much for my tastes ($100+). While I like having a membership—the option to use machines at the gym, a pool to swim in when I want, a hot tub or sauna to use—I am terrible at making it there to use it. And when I’m only going a few times a month, it’s not really worth the money.

Today I got in a conversation with a co-worker and she brought up corporate gym memberships, which I had never heard of. Apparently, gyms across the country offer deals to companies who want to invest in their employees’ health. The employer pays a certain amount to be a corporate gym member, and employees pay a fraction of what it would normally cost to partake.

Perhaps I’m just getting excited over something everyone else already knew about—and if that’s the case, oh well. This is my blog, so you can deal with it! I just find it inspiring that employers are actually taking the initiative in some cases and actively trying to get their employees to be healthier.

Healthier employees means the possibility of more affordable healthcare, for both employees and employers. Staying fit and active also helps relieve stress, prevent health problems, and strengthen our immune systems, so employees will likely miss fewer days of work. And, since those who are physically active get that nice endorphin boost, that means happier and more productive work. Plus, team members might even spend some time bonding at the gym.

It makes sense, but I guess I didn’t think that many companies would be willing to invest in a program that doesn’t directly tie into revenue. I had heard of some companies that encourage employees to be more active in their health, but I assumed that they were in the minority.

Big gyms like Gold’s, 24-Hour Fitness, Fitness First, Life Time Fitness, Curves, and LA Fitness all have corporate gym membership options. If these big gyms are offering it, then there must be some demand from companies—meaning that I was wrong and more businesses are encouraging employees to hit the gym after work.

Have you all heard of corporate gym memberships? Or perhaps you’re one of the lucky ones who’ve actually partaken? What do you think of programs like this? I’d love to hear your feedback.