Discount Fitness Club Network
This toolkit provides guidance on identifying and establishing a relationship with a nationwide discount fitness club network (DFCN) for employees of multi-site organizations. It is based on Healthier Worksite Initiative's (HWI) experience with implementing such a service, as a strategy to increase employee access to fitness centers at all CDC locations.
The Guide to Community Preventive Services recommends increasing access to places to be physically active (combined with informational outreach) as a way to increase the public's level of physical activity. Increasing access to places to be physically active at work can be accomplished in numerous ways, including making stairways inviting to encourage stair use, opening safe walking and biking trails, and improving community and work site walkability.
Many work sites provide fitness centers for employees, but not all work sites are able to offer sufficient facilities. In addition, not all employees choose to exercise at work; some prefer a fitness club closer to home.
CDC's DCFN Project Implementation
While CDC's headquarters is in Atlanta, Georgia, the agency also has field stations located in several states across the nation. For more than 20 years, as statutorily permitted, CDC has offered a broad range of special benefits to employees and contractors, including lifestyle activities like exercise, fitness testing, weight management, and other programs. Availability and access to these services varies by geographic location, especially considering some employees do not work at a CDC headquarter work site but are instead assigned to work in various health agencies and offices.
To respond to the needs of such a diverse and extensive work force, HWI implemented a discount fitness club service that is designed to complement the internal lifestyle program and gives CDC employees access to a network of more than 1,600 fitness centers nationwide.
The content of this toolkit is most relevant to federal employers, although other government employers, such as states, might have similar procurement regulations. Employers in the private sector may find that they have fewer restrictions; however, the principles of program development hold true. The toolkit describes the following project phases:
- Assessing Need and Interest
- Selecting a DFCN
- Promoting Your Project
- Implementing Your DFCN
- Maintaining Interest
- Evaluating Success
Additionally, you can read about the lessons CDC learned in creating and operating its own DFCN in CDC's DFCN Example.
Note: this toolkit is simply an example of what we did at CDC. The examples and guidance provided should not be a substitute for working with your own internal policy and legal staff to develop appropriate guidelines and procedures for running a discount fitness club network. Additionally, CDC and the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) are in no way responsible or liable for guaranteeing the success of a discount fitness club network established as a result of this toolkit.