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Entries in employee wellness (5)


This Week in the Fitness Industry: Club Offers Free Access to Locals Displaced by Hurricane

South Carolina Club Offers Free Access to Locals Displaced by Hurricane Matthew
Sportsclub Fitness & Wellness, an IHRSA member with three clubs in South Carolina, is generously inviting those who have been displaced by the effects of Hurricane Matthew to make use of any of its locations for free through Sunday, October 9. 

Related IHRSA resources:

GoodLife Fitness to Add 600 New Positions as Growth Continues
GoodLife Fitness announced last week that the company will hire 600 new Associates in clubs across Canada, by the end of August 2017. The Canadian owned and operated company will open 15 GoodLife Fitness clubs across the country. In November, GoodLife will also celebrate the grand opening of a new 60,000 square foot home office, in London, Ontario. “It’s a very exciting time for us, as we look to grow the GoodLife Fitness family by 600 people over the next year,” David ‘Patch’ Patchell-Evans, founder and CEO of GoodLife Fitness, said in a press release. “When I opened my first club in 1979, it was a small 2,000 square foot location in London and all I knew is that I wanted to care for people and help them experience the incredible benefits of exercise,” continued Patch. “Even as we’ve grown to become the fourth largest chain in the world and largest in Canada, it’s still so important to us that the people joining our team are caring, knowledgeable and share our passion for helping others be the best version of themselves.”

Wellness Coaching Helps People to Lead Healthier Lives, Study Finds
Increasingly, American companies and health insurers are providing “wellness coaches” to help motivate people to lead heathier lives and, ultimately, curb the rise of chronic diseases. And, while wellness coaching is a relatively new field, a Mayo Clinic study suggests that the practice is helping people achieve results. According to the 12-week study, the majority of 100 participants who worked with a wellness coach lost weight, improved their eating habits, and increased their physical activity. “Many people can implement positive lifestyle changes, but maintaining change over time is extremely difficult,” Matthew M. Clark, a clinical psychologist at Mayo Clinic and the lead author of the study, told The Wall Street Journal. “This finding highlights the importance of ongoing strategies and support for positive lifestyle changes.”

Meet the IHRSA Advocate: Your New Guide to Health Club Industry Advocacy
Keeping up with the latest industry advocacy information can be challenging. The legislative process can sometimes move quickly and bill revisions can be easily missed. That is why our public policy team created the IHRSA Advocate—to allow you to continue effectively managing your business without missing a beat. 

The IHRSA Advocate is a new bi-weekly advocacy e-newsletter that will help you recognize and understand the latest information on health club policies and trends, and summarize exactly how these initiatives impact your daily business operations. Learn more about the IHRSA Advocate.


Grow Your Corporate Wellness Programs with IHRSA‚Äôs New E-book

It’s no wonder that corporate wellness programs are becoming more prevalent—companies that implemented a wellness program saw a 38% reduction in employee absenteeism, according to the Institute for Healthcare Consumerism. 

Worldwide, employers are realizing that physical activity has a significant positive influence on employee health and well-being, and that active employees tend to be more productive, have better attendance, and incur lower healthcare costs. 

Many employers are interested in supporting physical activity and healthy habits among their workforce, but it can be time consuming to implement a successful worksite wellness program,and not all programs are effective in achieving the desired outcomes. 

Lucky for them, health clubs can help employers foster a healthier workforce. 

Clubs provide a safe, supportive environment for physical activity, with a variety of sports and fitness equipment and space, group classes, knowledgeable staff, one-on-one training, and often expertise in nutrition and health. Clubs are already offering a variety of programs and services that benefit employees, and are uniquely poised to help employers provide support for their staff in pursuit of better health and productivity.

June is National Employee Wellbeing Month, and the June edition of the “12 Months of Health Promotion” e-book provides several resources you can use to attract and retain corporate clients, including:

  • A list of fun ideas for employee wellness challenges your club can run, either in your club or at the corporate site
  • Stories to include in email newsletters, on your blog, or via social media outlets
  • An introduction to the CEO Pledge, and how to use it as a recruiting tool for corporate clients
  • A guide to building successful corporate wellness programs for club owners and operators 

“12 Months of Health Promotion” is a monthly series of e-books that will provide information, resources, and ideas to help you capitalize on the communication opportunities available to you in the U.S. and around the world. Look for a new issue at the beginning of each month.

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This Week in the Fitness Industry: MyFitnessPal Users Choosing Barre, SoulCycle

More MyFitnessPal Users Attending Barre, SoulCycle, HIT Classes
The number of MyFitnessPal users who attend exercise classes are favoring “upgraded fitness experiences” such as indoor cycling and Barre, according to data from the fitness tracking app. Findings showed that the use of Barre classes grew 3% from 2014 to 2015, with SoulCycle growing 38% and high-intensity impact training climbing 14% during the same time period. What’s more, use of Orange Theory Fitness grew by a whopping 170%. Glennis Coursey, coaching lead at Under Armour’s MyFitnessPal, attributed Orange Theory's rapid growth to the fact that its classes are targeted toward both men and women, while more women attend Barre and SoulCycle classes than men, Entrepreneur reports.

Study: Wearable Fitness Trackers Don’t Motivate Exercise
A study by researchers at Oklahoma State University suggests that fitness trackers don’t motivate users to exercise more, reports Science Daily. For the study, researchers gave a group of physical education students monitors, telling them they would measure the amount of sunlight the students received each day. Later, researchers gave the group another monitor, informing them they would count the number of steps they took each day. The catch—both sets of monitors actually measured how active the fitness buffs were. The results: the students were not more active when they knew their steps were being counted. "You need to take 10,000 steps a day to equal 30 minutes of light-to-moderate physical activity a day, and you should really do an hour a day to be healthy," one researcher said. "Students in the study took 11,000 or 12,000 steps a day, which isn't much above the minimum, and their activity didn't change with the monitoring. We expected them to model good fitness, but now we wonder what we can do to get people to be more physically active!"

U.S. Department of Labor Releases New Federal Overtime Rules
On Monday, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) published new federal rules on overtime. The new rules, a response to President Obama’s directive to update regulations for the Fair Labor Standards Act, which were last updated in 2004, go into effect on December 1, 2016. The rules amend what is known as the White Collar Exemption for certain workers that have historically been excluded from overtime protections. These workers are described in the regulations as “Executive, Administrative, Professional, Outside Sales and Computer Employees.” Despite receiving written comments from tens of thousands of individuals and organizations stressing the serious harm that the changes would cause, the DOL made few changes to rules as originally proposed in 2015. Read our full coverage on the new federal overtime rules.

151.5 Million Members Get Active at More Than 186,000 Health Clubs
In 2015, global health club industry revenue totaled $81 billion, as 151.5 million members visited nearly 187,000 clubs, according to the just-released The 2016 IHRSA Global Report: The State of the Health Club Industry. The top 10 markets account for roughly two out of three health clubs and three out of four members worldwide. While the U.S. leads all markets in club count and memberships at 55 million and 36,180, respectively, Brazil is second in club count at 31,809, Germany second in number of members at 9.5 million. All three markets are also among the top 10 worldwide in revenue with the U.S. ranking first ($25.8 billion), Germany second ($5.4 billion), and Brazil seventh ($2.4 billion). “This year’s report shows collective growth in markets worldwide, with mature markets leading the way,” said Jay Ablondi, IHRSA's executive vice president of global products.

EEOC Clarifies Rules on Employee Wellness Program Incentives
Employers can offer workers financial incentives of up to 30% of the cost of their cheapest health insurance plan to participate in wellness programs without violating federal laws protecting the confidentiality of medical information, according to final rules released by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The rules are meant to clarify the way two federal laws protecting employees' medical privacy apply to the popular programs, which are designed to control medical spending by reducing obesity, smoking, and other risk factors, Reuters reports. The rules are a result of a compromise between U.S. businesses and the EEOC, which previously held that providing incentives for voluntary wellness programs rendered them involuntary, and therefore illegal. 


2016 Legislative Opportunities: Encouraging Healthy Workplaces and Communities

This post is the fourth in a series of four that demonstrate how IHRSA works to promote legislative opportunities that would increase access to regular physical activity and healthy lifestyles. View the first post herethe second post here, and the third post here.

At many levels of government, lawmakers are recognizing the importance of a healthy, active population. IHRSA has seen a number of cities roll out initiatives designed to help their residents eat better, move more, and pursue a healthier life.

Policies encouraging physical activity in the community are important because physical activity can be a step-by-step process, and initiatives that encourage more walking or active commuting, and that offer fitness classes in public spaces, can move people to a point where they are ready to join a health club.

In Boston, for example, the city promotes its Fitness in the City initiative, which offers free fitness classes outside or in public buildings, while other cities have focused on nutrition labeling, transportation, and improving access to safe spaces for walking. In addition, more business leaders are also recognizing the importance of a healthy, active workplace—more than 400 CEOs have signed the CEO Pledge to make physical activity a priority in their workplace.  

At the state government level, IHRSA has seen a range of bills promoting healthier habits, including public health education campaigns, tax incentives to encourage corporate wellness initiatives for small businesses, financial incentives to encourage healthy behaviors among seniors, and establishment of task forces to research feasibility and effectiveness of health initiatives. These policies will impact health clubs to varying degrees, and IHRSA follows legislation that could have an impact on clubs and drive more members to fitness facilities. 

In 2012, Massachusetts passed legislation instituting a state tax credit to reimburse small businesses for 25% of the cost of implementing a certified employee wellness program, applicable for up to $10,000. Similar legislation has since been passed or proposed in several states, including Wisconsin, New York, Iowa, and Rhode Island. IHRSA supports and advocates for the passage of legislation that encourages employee wellness initiatives and makes them more accessible to small businesses, and works with regulators to encourage the inclusion of physical activity promotion in the definition of a certified wellness program. 

IHRSA is following several bills in 2016 that would promote healthier schools, workplaces, and communities. If you’re interested in pursuing policies to promote physical activity and health in your community, contact for more information. 


The Business Payoff of Exercise

Employers nationwide are finally beginning to understand the link between employee wellbeing and their companys' financial health. 

"And it's not just healthcare savings they're realizing. Greater worker engagement, increased productivity, fewer sick days, greater job satisfaction, increased worker concentration, easier recruitment, and reduced turnover all affect the bottom line," write Joe Moore, president & CEO of IHRSA and Kenneth Thorpe, Ph.D., chairman of the Partnership to Fight Chronic Disease, in their most recent Huffington Post article. 

Employees who exercise tend to be more engaged workers, which helps business. According to Gallup Research, employees who are most engaged (top quartile) have 37 percent lower absenteeism, 21 percent higher productivity, and 22 percent higher profitability when compared to those least engaged (bottom quartile).

Study findings like this have spurred business leaders into action, with C-suite executives across the U.S. signing onto the CEO Pledge for Physical Activity--a national campaign calling on every CEO in America to recognize physical activity as an important driver of employee health and business performance. 

Continue reading 'The Business Payoff of Exercise' on The Huffington Post.