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Pros and Cons of Setting up a Company Gym

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It’s 4:30 am and I am just arriving at the office. After unlocking the door and handling the alarm system, I change into my sweats and hit our in-house gym. It’s nothing more than an 8’ x 22’ converted storage area with some basic weights and equipment. There is a small Smart TV mounted above the treadmill to make breaking a sweat a bit more bearable. I know the guys won’t be showing up for a few more hours and I try to get at least 30-45 mins in each morning alternating between free weights and cardio. I consider it a major plus to be able to do this at work whereas I know I’d probably never have time to do it otherwise.


If you are thinking of setting up an on premises company gym, there are a few “Pros and Cons” you should take into consideration before you begin.

Pro: A basic gym or workout area does not take much to set up. A storage area or an unused loading bay will do just fine. Basic equipment can be purchased used as well to keep costs down.

Pro: Employees who use the facility on a regular basis will eventually become energized as an overall feeling of wellness begins to take hold. Energized employees tend to be healthier and more productive.

Con: Liability is a major concern when dealing with any on site physical activity and must be addressed prior to implementing any plan. The American College of Sports Medicine is considered the standard for all fitness and wellness programs. It is highly recommended that the guidelines set forth by the ACSM be followed in order to limit company liability.

Pro: An office gym is an attractive perk to employees, improving your company’s ability to retain employees as well as recruit new ones. The very idea of saving money on a gym membership and not having to drive all over town, will be most appreciated by employees both current and prospective.

Con: Researching and managing the facility. This may be more of a Pro than a Con depending on how it’s viewed. Installing a gym is useless without a plan for success. In the end you want employees to engage and safely enjoy the gym.

-To do that you will need to ascertain everyone’s thoughts on installing a gym. What kinds of exercise do they enjoy? Once the gym is set up it will need managing. Equipment must be maintained to ensure safe operation and employees should be trained on equipment use. Also, data must be recorded on gym usage. You want to be sure the gym is being used by employees on a regular basis and if not, why.

Once all this planning is set into motion, it’s a natural next step to set up some friendly competition such as a weight loss challenge. This can become a positive thing as employees start to share some camaraderie starting in the gym and spreading out into the office.
Again, gym management, research and maintenance could be considered a positive thing depending on how it’s viewed.

Final Thoughts: I am sure there are many other things to consider depending on the size of your company and ultimately the size of the gym. However, all basic things considered I believe the Pro’s outweigh the Con’s when considering whether to set up a fitness center for your employees.

A company gym and fitness program is the trademark of a successful company that genuinely cares for its employees' well-being. There may be a few obstacles to clear, but in the end installing a gym in the workplace can truly pay off!

Now let’s get in there and break a sweat! -Roy C. Bennett

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