Navy Federal's Schoggen Fitness Center serves more than 2,600 employees at the company's headquarters in Vienna, Va.
Navy Federal Credit Union is the world's largest credit union. It employs more than 5,000 staff members and provides financial products and services to more than two million Department of the Navy active-duty, retired and reserve individuals, as well as civilian and contractor employees and their families. Navy Federal's Schoggen Fitness Center serves more than 2,600 employees at the company's headquarters in Vienna, Va. The 5,000-square-foot facility "was a necessary and cost-effective program that helps employees to work happier, harder and healthier," says Fitness Specialist Julia McNaney. "Creating a healthier organization requires a corporate-level strategy that empowers employees to make healthy choices and practice health-promoting behaviors. Fitness center staff members motivate, educate and encourage all employees to embrace and maintain healthy, active lifestyles," she says. The original fitness center was built in 1976 due to requests from a group of employees. This group volunteered their time to coordinate the set-up, purchase of equipment and day-to-day responsibilities of the fitness center. In 1996, a parking garage was renovated into a new building to house the current Schoggen Fitness Center. Aesthetic renovations were made in 1999. In January 2004, L&T Health and Fitness took over management, and now provides staffing, exercise program design, fitness assessments, development and administration of fitness incentive programs, data tracking and reporting, and more. The fitness center is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week (it is staffed Monday through Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.). This allows employees who work the night shift to have the same benefits as day employees. When L&T took over management, it made recommendations and assisted Navy Federal in buying new equipment. Explains McNaney, "Our goal was to satisfy the needs of our employees, so the selection of new equipment was made with the employee in mind. The new equipment accommodates a variety of fitness levels, and allows the staff to offer programs that ultimately increased fitness center participation." Also important to increasing fitness center participation are the many programs that the facility offers. The fitness center has offered Weight Watchers classes since 2001. In April 2006,Navy Federal partnered with Weight Watchers to offer its weightloss programs to all of it 5,000 employees internationally. Navy Federal subsidizes 50 percent of the cost of the program. Another program, called the Field Wellness Incentive Program, is designed to encourage participation in health- and fitness related activities to field employees located outside of headquarters. Field employees receive up to a $100 reimbursement for participation in any approved health, wellness and fitness program. Many other programs are offered, including the Holiday Hurdles weight-loss incentive program, Fit For Summer program, Battle of the Sexes incentive program, 10,000 Pyramid Challenge physical and mental incentive program, the Navy Federal Pro-Bowl Challenge (a physical and mental incentive program), a bench press competition and the March Madness Free Throw Challenge. Schoggen Fitness Center also offers weekly subsidized massage therapy to employees; a variety of health screenings, including body composition, blood pressure, resting heart rate, fitness assessments, exercise prescription and updates, goal setting and nutrition counseling; Lunch N Learn monthly seminars given by the fitness center staff that provide information on a variety of heath, wellness and fitness topics; and Move N Learn monthly interactive seminars given by the fitness center staff to provide instruction on the newest fitness trends. With new management, new equipment and plenty to offer, "the fitness center has been an absolute success," McNaney says. The Schoggen Fitness Center averages 2,750 visits per month, and there has been a significant rise in group exercise attendance since the addition of new class formats. Says McNaney, "The fitness center has helped the Navy Federal population lose weight, lower cholesterol, lower blood pressure and improve their overall quality of life."