In this blog, we are going to talk about how you could implement a staff gym and will answer the following questions:-
What kind of equipment is needed in an employee gym?
What size of area is needed and how much equipment can you fit?
How and when will the gym likely be used?
Are there any structural or environmental issues for installing a gym?
Ok so before we start, this information is very broad, but it should give you an understanding of the main components for gym design. For help with a specific project, you’re working on or for more detailed information, please get in touch to arrange a meeting.
For many years, the main focus of gyms has been cardiovascular equipment, with the belief that more is better, not only in terms of how many pieces of kit, but how the cardiovascular exercise is actually performed. Rows and rows of Cardiovascular (CV) kit have been installed into areas for people to use. But what we’ve found is that a lot of the time these products are used for an initial period and then staff get bored of the monotonous routines and stop. The lack of retention then makes the human resource and facility teams feel that it’s a waste of space. What we believe in is a more thought through approach, with the ability to have fun, engaging workouts. Not that CV machines need to be banned, but instead the balance of kit/area should lean towards mobility/flexibility, functional fitness frames, soft and hard free weights and resistance machines. Having created more space colleagues will be encouraged to join in with others on their workouts. The need for professional instruction is higher in these gyms, but that added personal touch will give people confidence and the company’s staff wellness program will enjoy higher retention. For small spaces, the use of new interactive technology enables people to connect with others, workout using virtual environments, play fitness games and much more. The new tech can be used on the CV machines or via audiovisual displays with bodyweight workouts.
We have experience of installing gyms into small to large spaces, all of which are bespoke fit outs. The main takeaway for you is to think about the amount of gym users, what the budget is and when it will be used. For example, a small area of 20sq/m could fit in 3-4 pieces of CV and or some resistance kit, with a TV screen on the wall connected to the internet so staff can have the ability to perform a variety of bodyweight/soft and or hard free weight training sessions. A 50sq/m gym space would hold 12-15 stations with an area for movement-based training. When you have 100sq/m or more you have more options, which could include class areas for yoga or other popular fitness classes.
This will depend on your employee base, if it’s normal 9-5 office hours then generally it would be early mornings, lunchtimes and after work. If it’s a shift pattern where staff may be coming and going at different times then the gym space would be used on a more even spread throughout the day. The newest trend in forward thinking companies is ‘Smart Working’ this means that individuals are able to work on a more flexible basis, coming and going into the office for particular reasons, or to stay at home as they may need to look after children in between doing emails and calls. This type of working gives people autonomy, empowerment and encourages collaborative working according to Flexibility.co.uk Ltd. With this in mind, online technology is of importance to keep people connected to their environment. We have developed an online system that encourages people to take care of their three pillars of health; Mind, Nutrition and Motion. It is able to track users data, provide and insightful media library for the 3 pillars with workouts, workshops and other useful components. With good technology, your gym can have people using it in conjunction with their own personal program.
Structurally, we use our partnered architects to provide information on what can, cant and should be done. Most areas can be added too, but you should always consider usability and risk factors of emergencies.
The area should be assessed for air flow rates, water points, drainage, electrics, audiovisual, and IT connectivity. The equipment should have minimum distances away from the wall and be easily accessible, not blocking escape routes.