Design: Making the Most of Your Changing Room Design
Designing changing rooms that are inviting, comfortable and functional is essential to a positive health club experience. Members and visitors expect a high-quality experience in every part of a health club—not just in the classes and the equipment.
According to information from Mintel, clubs lose around 50 percent of their members each year. Results from a survey of 708 actual and potential gym users show that 47 percent would consider cancelling their memberships because of alternative exercise services.
These stats show that gym and health club owners need to make sure they are delivering real value and high-quality experiences to their members. Changing rooms are a core part of the health club experience, and one of its most intimate. Good design can go a long way to retaining membership and providing value to members.
Many gyms and health clubs use lockers made out of heavy-duty materials, such as phenolic or plastic laminate. These materials, along with classic metal lockers, may have their cost benefits, but give a stark, utilitarian feel.
Ideally, your lockers should be a reflection of your brand, and your look and feel. If you're an exclusive health club with a premium brand, wood lockers with custom designs help create a much more unified feel to your changing room.
Lockers should also be versatile enough to allow room for shoes, bags and clothes that need to be hung up. The simple ability to hang up a shirt in a locker goes a long way for members who need to head to the office after their workout.
Security is a key concern of gym members. They need to feel comfortable and relaxed, safe in the knowledge that their personal items are secure. In addition to having locks that are secure, they need to feel secure, too.
Personalized key codes for members and electronic cards reflect a level of security that is akin to a bank vault, making members feel safer in their minds. A basic lock that you associate with that of a shed door doesn't quite suggest the same level of security.
As well as the changing room, the quality of the shower experience is key to ensuring the continued success of a health club or gym. This is especially so in corporate gyms where visitors are often tight for time. They need a powerful shower to refresh them before they head back to the desk.
Not only is the power of the shower paramount, but the drainage, too. Manage your flow rates and water pressure carefully to ensure a high-quality shower. Well-plumbed drainage means the shower water drains away rather than pools, and prevents standing water collecting on the floor.
A modern, open-plan wetroom design for your shower area not only makes cleaning easier, but offers a high-fidelity experience to your members. To best achieve this, it's all about the details—provide hooks in useful places to hang towels and robes, and opt for a shower screen rather than a shower curtain.
Contrary to what Instagram might tell you, the age of the average gym-goer is around 40 years old. Of all age groups, those 70-plus are the most frequent gym-goers. These stats show that you need to cater for potential visual impairment of your members by providing lighting that is both effective and attractive.
Light balance is very important in changing rooms. Vanity areas should have a brighter, clearer light to ensure all of the hair drying and skincare can be done in front of well-lit mirrors. However, in the changing area proper, bright lights can make members feel uncomfortable, so a softer, diffused orange light is more appropriate.
Finally, rather than look and feel, you should consider the actual atmosphere of your changing room and shower area. Proper ventilation will help keep condensation and mold from occurring, while effective heating will keep members comfortable while they are changing and washing.
A nice warm changing room will encourage your members to make the most of your facilities and not feel like they have to hurry to get changed.