Trends in Fitness Facilities
WHAT YOU CAN DO TO ATTRACT TENANTS AND PROMOTE HEALTH
If designed properly, fitness facilities can become an important and vital part of your building. Commercial and
multitenant buildings, as well as hotels, are
increasingly using these spaces to attract
those who live, work and visit there.
However, it requires more than just adding a few treadmills and dumbbells.
Fitness facilities should be designed
purposefully, says Advanced Exercise
consultant Vaughn Marxhausen. Advanced
Exercise consults, designs and furnishes
fitness equipment for different markets.
Marxhausen adds that at least 10-12
years ago, an office or building gym was
considered a popular amenity. Now, to be
considered Class A or even just sought
after, on-site fitness facilities are a staple.
"Twelve years ago, it was, 'Wow, you
have a fitness center. That must be a neat
place to go,'" he says. "Now people are
saying, 'What do you mean you don't have
a fitness center?' Times have changed."
A fitness facility can also demonstrate
your building's commitment to health and
wellness, promote connectivity between
tenants and create a sense of community.
In the 2018 Work Environment Survey
conducted by Capital One (capital.one/
2vlPysh), full-time office professionals
shared their opinions on how workplace
design and experience affects their productivity and satisfaction. When asked which
aspects or "perks" would be most likely to
make them stay if they were considering
whether to stay or leave a company, nearly
40 percent said health amenities.
"It doesn't have to be an expensive cost
to put in a fitness facility," Marxhausen
Fitness Industry Trends
Marxhausen says that building owners
are beginning to look at trends in the fit-
ness industry as a whole as a way to glean
inspiration for what fits the goals and per-
sonality of their occupants.
He suggests asking: What are the things
I'm trying to accomplish in my building?
Who am I trying to attract? "Make it so
[your fitness facility] is welcoming, not
intimidating – but up to date," he says.
Current trends in fitness facilities include:
High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT)
This comprises a combination of four or
five different exercises, completed nonstop
before taking a break. The exercises could
include manipulating battle ropes and reps
of crunches and lunges.
"You can actually cut down your work-
out time considerably to 20 minutes but
still get the same benefits out of a full-
hour workout," Marxhausen says. If HIIT
fits with your type of tenant, make sure a
gym design includes mats and a dedicated
space for it.
This could include workouts geared
toward equipment in the room and projected onto a screen or on a TV, allowing
occupants to follow along. Maybe it's a
group video dedicated to yoga or Pilates
or some kind of training paired to an occu-pant's phone or watch.
"There's a whole technology side that's
starting to come out, but it has to be purposeful to match the demographics, space
and budget," Marxhausen says.
Rowing and Cycling
Two pieces of equipment that
Marxhausen has seen become more popular recently are rowing machines and air
bikes. Both can be utilized during HIIT or
can be used as their own workouts.
For those considering upgrading or adding a fitness facility to their commercial
building, concerns of distraction at work
might arise. Marxhausen, however, explains
why it shouldn't be a fear or deterrent.
"If I'm a company owner, I'm going to
choose those buildings with those ameni-ties," he says, "because I want to keep
[employees] there. I don't want them to go
five miles down the road to go work out,
because that now is taking time away from
them being at work."
In addition to fitness facilities, creating
a more health-conscious building could
also include employee wellness rooms
dedicated to downtime or mediation, more
nutritious food options and human-centric
lighting – all of which can contribute to the
health and wellness of a building, a commitment that can now be demonstrated
by health and wellness certifications.
Combined, they can improve and sustain
"If I'm a building owner, I can look at
getting employees or tenants to be in
an environment that is now healthy and
provides wellness to the individuals that
come there," Marxhausen says. "After all,
we spend most of our waking hours in the
Sarah Kloepple sarah.kloepple@
buildings.com is a staff writer for
FITNESS FACILITIES can provide value
to your building if designed purposefully.