When companies begin exploring employee wellness options, sometimes they look to local gyms or national fitness chains to improve fitness levels. Most often this looks like standard gym reimbursements or discounted memberships with some extra perks. When trying something new, isn’t it best to keep it simple and pick what’s familiar or nearby?
The gym next to the office might be your favorite but that doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your company’s wellness program.
First, let’s look at what a gym-based corporate program looks like.
Here’s a real corporate wellness option from an existing national gym network:
“Bigtime Gym’s complete corporate wellness package provides your team with discounted membership rates and enrollment fees at any of our clubs. This program incentivizes participation through partially-reimbursed or subsidized memberships based on monthly usage.”
Another example, from an independent gym with several locations in a mid-sized city:
“At Local Fitness, we offer your employees discounted memberships and $1 enrollment fees, free orientation and fitness evaluation, membership usage tracking, and three complimentary personal training sessions.”
At first glance, these seem like great perks! Gym reimbursement or discount programs are designed to reduce the barrier to entry for fitness, making it less expensive to maintain an exercise habit. The idea is, the fewer excuses you have to avoid working out, the easier it is to get started.
However, one immediate downside of partnering with a gym directly: not everyone wants to work out at a gym. By limiting how and where your employees can earn credit for activity, you may be immediately alienating some sectors of your workforce.
In our experience designing wellness benefits, we’ve seen a few recurring concerns with programs offered by larger gym networks or local fitness centers. While membership discounts or gym reimbursements are low-hanging-fruit when it comes to healthy perks, partnering directly with a gym can be administratively cumbersome and leaves gaps in how you’re addressing overall wellness.
Here’s how they stack up against IncentFit:
Location, location, location
With a gym-based program, your employees get memberships at specific locations. With IncentFit, you can let your employees go to any fitness facility anywhere in the world, instead of just a select few. That mean your gym-going newbies can earn credit alongside your spinning enthusiasts, weekend Crossfitters, or treadmill warriors.
Some gym programs offer usage tracking, but not all of them do. Administrators may still need to manage paperwork or request records from individual locations. With IncentFit, users check-in using a mobile app. Our geolocation technology automatically verifies that employees are at the gym and that they’ve stayed for at least 30 minutes.
It’s sad but true: 67 percent of people with active gym memberships never use them! By verifying attendance through the IncentFit app, you only pay for employees that actually participate. Considering the stats on exercise and productivity, that’s an automatic return on investment.
Gyms vs Other Activities
It’s true, some gyms offer a variety of classes for weight training, cardio, yoga, or even swimming. And that’s great! But what about those who want even more variety, or who prefer to exercise outside a gym?
With IncentFit you can design a benefit plan that includes activities outside a gym. We sync activity data with dozens of popular trackers, so your employees can potentially earn credit for running, walking, biking, hiking. (Some even get credit for skiing!)
We’ll be straightforward: IncentFit has significantly less administrative work than any other corporate wellness solution out there. There’s no need manage multiple relationships with gyms or negotiate corporate rates with a gym owner. No contracts or minimum commitments. We offer direct integration with payroll and other automated reward fulfillment options. And once your benefits are up and running, we handle everything from customer support to activity verification to reward disbursement.
The Big Picture
The value of exercise is clear. And gyms and fitness centers play a major role in that. The more people we see working out, the better! But physical activity is not the entirety of wellness. Which is why we’ve designed IncentFit to also fill in other gaps of a well-rounded wellness strategy.
Companies that partner with us instead of an individual gym gain the flexibility to eventually grow their incentives to include activities beyond treadmill; that can include screenings, health fairs, flu shots, or engagement-building team wellness challenges.
Explore cost-effective ways you can start introducing wellness at work. Or first, see how this worked for a real company: