Benefits Strategy

Why Your Wellness Program Can’t Just Be Gym Discounts

Written by Allie

When companies begin exploring employee wellness program options, sometimes they look to local gyms or national fitness chains to improve fitness levels. For as long as wellness programs have been “a thing,” the corporate gym membership discount has been a mainstay.

That doesn’t mean it’s the right choice for your company’s wellness program.

Gym discounts are a nice perk

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 to this approach: 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 team.

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.

Usage Accuracy

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!)

Administrative Work

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. Here is another quick post that showcases the difference between using a well-rounded platform like IncentFit vs. direct gym partnerships.

Corporate Wellness Benefit Managers having a discussion while looking at an electronic tablet.

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