One of the things that people often assume about Life Time is that we have it all determined when it comes to how we support we members’ health and well-being. It’s a fair assumption since we’re in the industry of healthy living — and in many different ways, it’s an accurate one.

More than 15 years ago, for instance, before it was illegal to smoke in public places spaces, we banned smoking in our facilities. The science around the ill effects of smoking was clear, and that we needed to walk the talk of behaviors that would positively influence the health of we as a whole.

Initially, I remember seeing large groups gathered away from office to smoke at various times during the day. But those groups dwindled over time, whether because of the inconvenience, the state-enacted public-smoking bans that came later, or a combination. Regardless, it was the right decision at that time. Over the years, we’ve taken a similarly proactive method of developing and implementing health-­improvement initiatives. Still, we’re facing the same challenges as many organizations across the nation, including skyrocketing healthcare costs and also the negative effects of the modern workplace.

The latter can undermine all aspects of our well-being in subtle yet significant ways. Sedentariness, for instance, is associated with a host of short- and long-term health issues. Yet many team members, especially at Life Time’s corporate office, are deskbound or perhaps in meetings for good chunks of the day. And then there’s the digital component: Thanks (or otherwise) to technology, many people never disconnect when the workday ends.

We know, however, that when employees are supported in setting good boundaries and prioritizing key healthy-living habits — getting enough sleep, eating nutritious food, moving regularly, de-stressing, nurturing social connections — they’re focused, engaged, and productive.

This is good for business, too. But healthy behaviors can be tough to maintain in our fast-paced, entrepreneurial environment, for many of our health-motivated team members.

Which is why it’s more important than ever for us to uphold a culture that supports their healthy habits: When their demands and ambitions are being championed, additionally, it benefits our club members.

We do that at Life Time in a few simple ways, which are tactics people can advocate for at the office, regardless of position:

  • Eliminate unhealthy temptations. Clearing unhealthy foods out of the work environment makes unhealthy consuming more difficult. At Life Time, we no more offer soda or candy vending machines, but instead stock water and other beverages that support our Good Food Rules.
  • Encourage movement. To combat inactivity, we make it easy for our team members to exercise throughout the workday, when it’s convenient for them. If there’s a 10:30 a.m. yoga class on Thursday mornings that somebody loves, we try our best to avoid scheduling meetings during it.
  • Create active social opportunities. Several years ago, we began encouraging our employees to sign up in athletic events as teams, which built camaraderie and healthy competition. Whether it’s a 5K, an organization fitness class, or a quick walk over lunchtime, melding activity with social interactions can inspire people to stick with a routine.
  • Offer options for working remotely. In late 2021 we introduced telecommuting for the corporate team members, giving them greater autonomy over their work–life balance. This involves us to provide technology that effectively supports remote collaboration and communication.
  • Address the body and mind. Holis­tic wellness encompasses physical and psychological well-being. We’re in the early stages of testing an extensive and inclusive service for the team members (and eventually members) which will acknowledge the mind–body connection.

As new challenges arise, we’ll continue to create healthier work experiences to satisfy the needs — always with the mindset that the healthier, more positive work experience is much better for all of us.