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WellWorks offers faster enrollment process, new fitness equipment

WellWorks, Ohio University's wellness program for employees, their families and community members located in Grover Center hopes to attract new and current members by adding new features to its wellness program. 

WellWorks staff worked hard this summer to improve the enrollment process for members. In addition, its fitness center now houses new equipment and more will arrive in the coming weeks.

In the past the WellWorks enrollment process was rather extensive, lasting approximately 90 minutes and involving three separate steps. 

"The old enrollment process caused a lot of barriers for members. There were too many hoops to jump through but it did give our graduate students experience performing the tests," said Clinical Exercise Physiology Coordinator Erica Baker.

After modifying the process throughout the summer, the WellWorks staff came up with a streamlined model that eliminates a step and cuts enrollment time significantly, but still upholds WellWorks' wellness model-rather than the same-day enrollment option of a gym. 

Now, new members are asked to visit WellWorks to pick up their cholesterol test voucher and then proceed to the Athens Medical Lab for testing. Next, they visit WellWorks again for their health assessment. Every new member has their height, weight and blood pressure measured. Now, the fitness test involving flexibility, bike, push-up and sit-up tests is optional.

Staff instead offers to show new members how to use the exercise machines and sets appropriate weights suited to their body type. The equipment consultation is also optional but helps members feel more at ease upon their first visit to WellWorks.

"The equipment orientation has been an extremely useful tool in educating those with little to no experience with resistance training machines as well as some of the more unique aerobic training machines," said WellWorks Graduate Assistant Nicholas Masci.

Test results and a tour also happen in this step. Currently 30 people have enrolled in WellWorks using the new process and staff members are pleased with the feedback.

In addition to the streamlined enrollment process at WellWorks, they just purchased 20 new spin bikes, two Cybex Arc Trainers, two treadmills, two upright bikes, two steppers and two Octane cross trainers.

"These machines have adjustable stride lengths that give the user a different feel and make the workout even easier on joints," said WellWorks Fitness Center Coordinator Maghan Lunsford. 

Funding for the equipment was made possible through partnering with the Human Resources Benefits office.

One of the many benefits of the new equipment includes standard consoles that make adjusting to the new machines easier. Several of the machines also have a built-in fan, iPod connector or a television control panel. The new WellWorks fitness equipment keeps facilities up-to-date and gives members the best opportunities to improve their fitness level.

"It gave me a really good workout and I was able to stay on it for 45 minutes. I use it all the time," said Debbie Phillips, a WellWorks member about the new cross trainer machine.

WellWorks is Ohio University's wellness program for employees, their families and Athens community members. It offers a variety of programs and services to help its members achieve a healthy lifestyle, including massage therapy, nutrition counseling, personal training and group exercise. WellWorks seeks to offer a continuum of lifestyle services to impact the health behaviors and wellness culture of the community.

For more information or to speak with a member of WellWorks staff, please contact Kim Valentour at valentou@ohio.edu.