Activity centers offer employees exercise and healthy workout options
Employees interested in working out have the option to get their morning started, or break up their day, by accessing one of 21 (soon to be 23) available activity centers at King County worksites. Each activity center offers similar exercise equipment, such as treadmills, dumbbells, and other items, but can also be equipped with items more specific to employee needs based on their work environment.
Each center can vary in size, but the goal of the activity centers remains the same: To give employees the convenience of being able to work out at work.
“The activity centers gives employees an opportunity to get a workout in and relieve stress,” said Balanced You Health Educator Karla Clark. “The convenience of being able to go on your lunchbreak, before or after work, is in line with our theme of balance.”
“Being able to balance your workday and your physical activity,” she adds.
Created as part of the previous health benefits program, Balanced You has worked to expand the activity centers. Several more locations are planned, with the collaboration of an external vendor who assesses the space and offers recommendations. When approved, each activity center is then overseen by a King County employee volunteer activity coordinator (AC), who works with Karla, and checks the sites periodically to ensure they are kept clean and equipment is working properly. The AC reports issues and helps provide appropriate signage and information to employees. Additionally, all sites offer stretching areas, and are regularly maintained for safety and cleanliness.
The activity centers also serve as a way for employees to support each other. Certain locations have developed walking groups, or hold group exercise classes like yoga and Zumba. The activity center is one more option for employees to get exercise during their workday.
“It’s one building over from my office, allowing me – 45 minutes to an hour a couple of times per week – to step away from work stress and reset my energy to a high point,” said Travis McKinnon, a Senior Human Resources Analyst for District Court. “Especially, when afternoon crashes set in on my energy levels, or if I fail to go to my regular gym.”
The activity centers are provided free of charge to all employees, and are not attached to a benefits plan. Employees are free to come and go, using the equipment to support their own exercise plan. This allows each person the opportunity to get exercise in their workday that is fulfilling to them.
”I love having an activity center that is freely accessible to increase strength, reduce stress, and boost morale,” said Matt Green, a Transit Purchasing Specialist with Metro Transit. “It is one of the many benefits of working for King County, and it is important for me to work in an environment that actively supports better health and well-being for its employees.”
To learn more about the activity centers, their locations, equipment, and amenities, visit the Balanced You website. For questions about exercise options at your workplace contact BalancedYou@kingcounty.gov.