Why do plants rarely feature in gyms?

 

If you ask any gym-goer their main motivations for attending the gym, most will have improving their physical and mental wellbeing at the very top of their list- both of which plants are proven to do. It is therefore surprising that more gyms don’t harness the power of plants to nourish their members and improve the overall experience they provide.

In 2017, Biofit commissioned the first scientific study into what is termed as “indoor green exercise”. Conducted by the UKActive Research Institute and University of Essex Green Exercise Group, it ran over four weeks at the Biofit pop-up gym in London with a total of 118 participants taking a natural fitness session. 

Each responded to a ‘before and after’ questionnaire, with the following results:

– 75% felt less stressed after their session

– 80% reported feeling more connected to nature

– 87% found an improvement in positive mood state

– An average enjoyment level of 91/100 

So, with such research available, why are plants not a commonplace feature in every gym? 

In this article look at some of the main obstacles when incorporating plants in the design of a gym, and creative ways to overcome them.

 

Space

Space is understandably a primary concern when planning the layout of a gym. Gym equipment is normally organised in a way which maximises capacity whilst also being mindful of members safety, meaning adding natural elements can be an afterthought.

Fortunately, creative planting doesn’t necessarily have to take up valuable floor space.

We regularly design greenery specifically for walls and ceilings that could help make your gym a more enjoyable place to exercise without taking up any extra space. A green wall can come in the form on a living wall which uses real plants, an artificial green wall, or even a preserved moss wall.

Smaller, potted house plants are another great way to incorporate planting when low on space and has become increasingly popular in commercial settings in recent years. The beauty of houseplants is that you can use as little or as many as you like, and they can be used in an ad hoc fashion to fill any unused spaces where it is safe to do so. As an added bonus, many species will eliminate odours and pollutants from the air to create a more pleasant environment for exercising.

 

Cost

Whilst it’s true that many gyms operate just fine without plants, it is surprising how even a small investment in plants and greenery can have an amazing effect on the look and feel of a gym.

Compared with other aesthetic improvements and wellbeing initiatives, plants are a relatively low-cost solution that can have an immediate impact without any need for a prolonged period of closure. A complete transformation can be enacted in just an hour or two with the introduction of plant displays designed to suit your premises.

This has a huge advantage over a refurbishment project which is usually significantly more costly and may take weeks or months to complete – possibly even involving a period of closure.

An investment in plants has the potential to translate into increased membership, as well as retaining existing members by increasing your visibility online. It’s no secret that people love to share their trips to the gym – the #gymselfie hashtag has been used 8.9 million times alone on Instagram – and spaces filled with lush greenery and natural elements tend to be much more “sharable” than those without.

 

 

Maintenance

Another possible reason for a lack of plants in gyms is a perceived difficulty to maintain them. Gyms are filled with moving bodies and a temperature that fluctuates more than most interior environments, making the potential for damage high.

We offer a wide range of maintenance plans, all delivered to the highest standards, so your plants remain as healthy and vibrant as the day they arrived.

During our maintenance visits, we are happy to answer any questions you may have, and you can expect us to carry out a full inspection of your plants. We will also clean, feed, prune and water the plants according to their specific requirements and replace any dead, ailing or even overgrown plants at no extra cost. Should you need help or have any questions or regarding your office plants maintenance beyond our regular visits, our friendly team can be contacted for advice or to arrange a visit via email or telephone

 

By changing how a gym or indeed spa looks and feels, we can increase client satisfaction and boost overall enjoyment whilst ensuring happier, healthier members who feel connected to nature.  As summer draws to a close and we head into the colder, dark months, exercising outdoors is less desirable making it the perfect time to bring the outside in with plants.

We’ve created plant and floral designs for a variety of venues across the UK and you can get everything you need from us, from design to installation to maintenance. Our breadth of products, with options to suit any budget, means we can turn your ideas into reality no matter how big or small your project.

Get in touch with us today to find out more about how we can help turn your gym into a green oasis.