More and more offices these days have fitness centers in the same building or just down the street. These are super convenient for people who like to sneak in a workout during their lunch break or pop in during the morning before their day starts. Of course, these places might require memberships and can often seem daunting for people just starting on the road to fitness.
A great-workaround is having a dedicated fitness space inside your workplace. It doesn’t need to to replace a fitness center and a fitness room is actually a great compliment to the gym. Having the space where its accessible for everyone, at all times, goes a long way towards encouraging people to take fitness-focused breaks throughout the day or do a 5-10 minute workout. It also creates a “safe space” for workouts – that is, a room where you won’t get a weird look for dropping to a spontaneous plank or doing a few push-ups on the way back from the water cooler!
Today, we’ll walk you through the process of setting up your own dedicated fitness space at the office. We’ll cover picking your space, which equipment to stock there, and some final considerations for getting the most out of it.
Selecting and setting up your office fitness space
First thing you’ll want to do is find a space that works. If your workplace isn’t too cramped, try using an empty corner office or an under-utilized conference room. Either of these will give you plenty of space and a little privacy while you work out.
If your office is already pretty fitness forward, another option is to use the back half of a larger room. If your colleagues are used to seeing people work out, this can even encourage others to come and join and make these fitness breaks a team activity.
Alternatively, if your office is small or your company is in the process of outgrowing its space, you might have to think outside of the box. One suggestion is to find a storage closet which your company can dedicate as the fitness equipment room. Then you’ll know where all the equipment is and can bring it out to a space by your desk for personal workouts, or have a room that can be used off hours or when it’s not booked for fitness.
Outfitting your fitness space with the right equipment
Once your space is sorted out, it’s time to start outfitting your gym! The golden rule, especially when getting started, is to keep it simple:
- Stick with minimal, low-footprint gear. Don’t go for anything fancy, big or expensive like a treadmill, a full barbell set, or a multi-purpose workout machine.
- Yoga mats are everybody’s best friend and a great first purchase. They give a nice cushioned space above the floor and people can perform any bodyweight exercise with just a mat.
- Add in some basic resistance gear. Sandbells are a good call since they’re safe and provide great functional movements for all fitness levels. They aren’t super heavy either. Of course, if you need a bit more weight, get some kettlebells too!
- If you have an open doorway in your fitness area, consider getting a portable pull-up bar. We have one at the office we use all the time and it’s great for some basic hanging exercises. You can also combine it with a TRX suspension trainer for even more bodyweight options.
- Pick up a balance board or two. These combine well with the office.
- Resistance bands are a must and not too expensive. If you add in a foam roller, you’ll have plenty of options for stretching your muscles and rolling out any knots and sores during the day.
This should cover your main bases and keep your initial investment affordable. Once you get the ball rolling, you can start collecting feedback from your colleagues and find out what equipment they use now and what equipment they’d like to use in the future.
Optional considerations for your fitness space
Provided you have the space, there are some additional thoughts you might want to consider with your setup.
- Make your space water accessible. Either have access to a tap or a water cooler for people to rehydrate after a workout. This can also be a great place to take your team water breaks.
- Include a whiteboard on the wall. People can write down workouts or keep a tally of their sessions. It’s also handy if they get an idea for their project while working out – they can quickly jot down some notes and get back to their work out!
- Have a couple of towels handy just in case things get sweaty or someone spills some water.
- If people like listening to music or watching videos, keep a tablet with a charger handy. Heck, you could even use it to listen in to a conference call while you work out!
Final thoughts about your fitness space
Ultimately, getting your office fitness selected and set-up requires some thought and a small investment. It’ll be easier to get it going if your company is already fitness forward and your colleagues enjoy their regular office Wods.
If you’re not sure where to begin with making the change, always start with the benefits. We’ve discussed how working out at the office can be beneficial for productivity and mental energy, and having a fitness space only compounds these benefits.
The space can also be multi-purpose, doubling as a meditation room, provided that no one is working out in the background. If the room gets a lot of use, you may want to consider a separate space (particularly one with a door) where colleagues can go and zen out for a few minutes.
Yours in wellness,
The FC Squad