Why do you need to convert your health club into a health hub?

By Melania Armento

Published 9 June 2020

Employees’ physical and mental health in the workplace is one of the most important topics you need to handle as an employer. Are you familiar with ERG? ERG stands for Employee Resource Groups, and these can be your best allies in the effort to relieve employees’ stress.

There are many factors in the working environment that can lead to physical and mental health deterioration and it is your job as an employer to make sure that you know how to handle it and support your employees. ERGs are created to build community among people at work with the purpose of sharing experiences and helping one-another.

According to Harvard research on ‘How to Form a Mental Health Employee Resource Group‘, nearly 60% of U.S. employees experienced mental health issues last year, and yet eight in 10 workers did not seek treatment due to shame.

This is why you should tackle mental health head-on and create a physical and mental wellness program for your employees.

Is mental health as important as physical health?

Wellness is made up of a number of different components. Physical activity is part of it but there is more to it than that. We need to be more aware of how to take a holistic approach to our employees health, beyond physical fitness, to help your employees live a healthier life.

What we are seeing in the industries of corporate fitness, corporate wellness and even the health and fitness center industry, is that we need to become more of a health hub, not a health club.

Many virtual initiatives and programs have been on the forefront of progression, but when coronavirus happened, it was forced to move so much faster.

We all have an opportunity to pivot and find a method for using this pandemic as a way to get our corporate clients and our employees down the road of wellness and health.

Collecting health data

We had the pleasure of having Ted Vickey, founder and CEO of Fitwell and former executive director of the White House Athletic Center under the Bush, Clinton, and Bush administrations, as a panelist in one of our webinars recently. This is his thought about the eight components of wellness:

There are a number of different ways that you can define it: some have an eight model, some have five, but the one that we’ve adopted is the eight model one.

We’re seeing a lot of corporate wellness providers looking at these eight components; now, physical and intellectual are the ones that are going to be very important. Spiritual will probably be the one that corporate America is still not yet going to be truly involved with.

There are many different ways that we can collect that data. Imagine that you are managing the on-site fitness center for Twitter, for example.

You can collect all of the employee data as a third-party, so Twitter is not going to see that data, but it becomes very difficult for you to manage this information at one time. What we’re seeing now are companies with the ability to pull up a dashboard of all their employees health data.

The Under Armour case

In 2010 Under Armour spent $750 million on acquiring three different apps. They did that for the data; Kevin Plank, CEO of Under Armour, says that data is the new oil.

Why did Under Armor want that data? One of the reasons was that Under Armour knows how long that their sneakers will last. If they’re tracking people who love running,  then when the time comes to replace their shoes, those people will get a coupon emailed to them suggesting that it’s time to buy a new pair of shoes. Hopefully they’ll purchase Under Armour.

This is just one example of how a company is using data to help them do what they do: sell more products. But that same type of model can be used when it comes to your employees health.

You can create a dashboard that shows a number of different things. It could be a step challenge, a hydration challenge or a mental challenge of ‘are you taking care of yourself mentally?’.

It is a new frontier, but it’s going to be very exciting to see how we’re using all.

Melania Armento

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