Are students leveraging the greatest academic, health, and social resource at their university? Perhaps the most overlooked academic asset is a school’s fitness facility. Students who regularly use a university’s fitness facility get better grades, are more quickly integrated into the university community, and engage more in and out of the classroom.
Freshmen who visit the university fitness center 15+ times in their first semester have an average GPA of 3.08, while those who have 0 visits have an average GPA of 2.81. This is exciting news! It’s also actionable news.
It’s not surprising to learn that students who use the fitness facilities are more successful. The fitness center is a place of connection, health promotion, stress relief, mind/body clarity, and community. Helping students to make the most of this resource is crucial for colleges and universities.
How can we help students be successful?
- Social connections
To some degree, convenience is built into college life. Student fees usual cover the use of fitness facilities and they’re usually located within easy access of campus centers. Facilities are convenient to access, but they may not be convenient to actually use. Most often, students who are drawn to fitness in college were already actively engaged in sports or recreation prior to arrival on campus. These students begin school with an unrecognized academic and social advantage.
What about students who are new to fitness and wellness? How can schools draw them into an active lifestyle? Guidance, support, and a feeling of belonging from Day 1 is crucial.
What does guidance from Day 1 like? It’s an invisible trainer in the ear, supporting, teaching and coaching students through the use of unfamiliar equipment, walking them through workouts in real time and getting feedback from them to keep them moving correctly, exercising safely and improving. Guidance from Day 1 is a coach for every student without the associated cost of a personal trainer.
Social connection in college life is crucial to health and wellbeing. Students run around campus with earbuds in their ears and virtual bubbles surrounding them. Nowhere is this more evident than in the fitness center. Creating a social connection within that device-centered lifestyle is possible when content and guidance are supported by an online community.
Having a gym buddy or accountability partner supports more than good habits, it encourages community involvement outside of the gym.
How do universities get more students into the fitness center, create community, and see success?
Give more than a t-shirt at orientation; give every student a personal trainer on their phone. Empower them with personalized guidance, a built-in social support network, and eyes-up audio based workouts.
Engaging student activity at the fitness center is affordable and easy to manage with myVitFit. Demo here.