Healthy gains in the private sector
With local leisure centres and swimming pools in a period of crisis, Luke Abbott, Studio Director at SGP, examines how private-sector businesses are looking to mitigate the impact by providing their own health and wellness facilities for staff.
The closure of public leisure facilities, such as Whitworth Leisure Centre in Lancashire, poses an increasing concern as it impacts the health and wellness of communities. Rising energy costs and budget constraints have forced many facilities to limit services or shut down entirely. This comes at a critical juncture when the UK’s public health is under threat, with projections of a growing obesity crisis and its associated health risks.
Government initiatives, such as weight loss trials, are underway, but experts emphasise that regular exercise is paramount for well-being. The closure of these facilities is a tragedy as they provide accessible and affordable options to keep people active and healthy, reducing the burden on the healthcare system.
Private-sector employers are beginning to recognise the importance of wellness facilities for their workforce. Corporate fitness and wellness programmes, along with in-house gyms, are becoming more common. These offerings enhance employee well-being, reduce absenteeism, and improve productivity.
Architects and developers are incorporating health and wellness standards like the WELL Building Standard® into their designs, creating workspaces that promote physical activity and social interaction.
While the loss of public facilities remains a concern, private-sector initiatives are stepping in to fill the void, emphasising the importance of health and wellness facilities in ensuring a healthy and productive workforce.
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