Premium Partners

The Corporate Advantage; Cardio Belt Club; Partners in Wellness

These innovative programming ideas motivate members to exercise using all offered programs and products.

The Corporate Advantage

Fitness On The Move Lifestyle Center, Ft. Meyers, Fla. Attaining corporate fitness accounts can be a challenge. So, instead of focusing on selling corporate packages to several corporations, Fitness On The Move Lifestyle Center decided to focus on one local corporation with a large employee base. And not with your standard offer, either. Instead, the fitness center created something unique for the company, Chico's FAS Inc., called The Chico's Fitness Challenge. "The challenge provided Chico's 700 employees an opportunity to participate in a three-month exercise program at the center," explains Troy De Mond, owner of Fitness On The Move. "Each participant was given an initial fitness assessment of resting blood pressure and heart rate, body weight and body composition," and each met with a personal trainer for their first three sessions. Once the exercise period began, the center's sales team made weekly calls to each participant to encourage usage. Participants were monitored weekly, and, at the end of the three months, they were post-tested. Chico's FAS Inc. agreed to pay for the employees' participation, as well as provide a cash incentive for the top-ten employees who had the greatest fitness change during the exercise period. In addition, Fitness On The Move agreed to give away five one-year memberships to the top winners of the fitness challenge. The challenge was a success for both participants and the facility. Of the 210 participants in the challenge, those who were post-tested lost 540 total pounds. Total visits during the challenge was 3,374, and the greatest weight loss for both men and women was 44 pounds. One hundred participants converted into paying members during or after the challenge, and "all profit centers in the facility saw a dramatic increase in revenue," says De Mond. And, that's not all. "Because of our professionalism, dynamic programming and superior customer service to the company," De Mond says, "we have been asked to develop a fitness facility within their new corporate headquarters."

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Cardio Belt Club

The Ocean Club, Manahawkin, N.J. Most sports have some method for rewarding those who have progressed to more advanced levels. Tennis does through its ranking system; baseball does it through its leagues; karate does through its belts. So, thought Joe Reid, fitness director at The Ocean Club, why not fitness? What better way to keep members focused on goals? Reid created the Cardio Belt Club, which began on Nov. 15, 2005. Members are awarded belts for the time they put into their cardio workouts. There are seven belts, starting with yellow and ending with black. "After members finish 60-plus hours doing any type of cardio exercise in our facility, ranging from swimming to using cardio equipment and classes," explains Reid, they are awarded prizes such as a water bottle or T-shirt, along with a lanyard (belt) with the color that represents where they are in the program. As of this writing, they "have 86 members involved, with two attaining the coveted black belt to become a Master Fitness Member," says Reid. Member retention is up, since the facility helps members to become healthier while having fun and to set goals and make them achievable. The program also keeps members updated and motivated on their progress. "Members get the sense of satisfaction upon completing the requirements of each belt, and further see the results in their bodies as they make the commitment to complete this program," adds Reid.

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Partners in Wellness

Jefferson Memorial Hospital Employee Wellness Program, Crystal City, Mo. Lowering healthcare costs for employees is a big concern for most companies, and Jefferson Memorial Hospital (JMH) is no exception. So, after surveying its employees, the company decided to implement a two-part exercise incentive program. The goals of the incentive program are to 1) increase activity among employees, 2) create fun competition among co-workers and 3) provide an environment in which employees can help to motivate each other. Partners In Wellness, the first part of the incentive program that lasted 12 weeks, was free to members of the wellness program. "To help each employee stay motivated," explains Andrew Held, JMH wellness coordinator, "each [participant] was allowed to find one partner to either exercise with or help encourage each other if they could not both be present at the same time." Each individual was provided a time card on a weekly basis to log their exercise time, and those with the most time logged at the end of the 12 weeks won first-, second- and third-place prizes. According to Held, the program was a huge success, with 86 members (out of a total of 180) enrolled. By the end of the 12 weeks, 64 members (82 percent of those enrolled) completed the program. More than 730 hours of exercise were logged."The number-one spot accrued [more than] 109 hours (15 percent of total hours logged!)," says Held. What will the second part of the program be? "World Wide Wellness," a free program for all employees that runs from February through August with a focus on 10,000 steps a day. And, that program already has 300 employees participating!

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