Walmart Opens Giant Fitness Center Amid Corporate Wellness Wave

Walmart Opens Giant Fitness Center Amid Corporate Wellness Wave

The retail giant is looking to retain staff and attract the next generation of talent with a massive fitness and wellness facility at its Arkansas campus

Walmart has leveled up the corporate wellness game with its 360,000-square-foot Walton Family Whole Health & Fitness center at its headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas.

The push for wellness is a major component of Walmart’s sprawling new 350-acre corporate campus, which also includes a food hall, office spaces, a hotel and a childcare center. Areas of the campus will open in phases through 2025, although the Walton Family Whole Health & Fitness center opens Friday, January 12.

Investing in Walmart and Sam’s Club employees with wellness and supportive amenities is meant to engage staff and attract “the next generation of talent” needed to compete, as indicated by the retailer on its corporate website. 

Walmart’s decision aligns with the expectations of Gen Z and Millennials, who increasingly seek employers who support their health and wellness. A recent Lifesum survey found that 48% of young workers would quit their current job for an employer prioritizing wellness. Additionally, 69% believe they would be more productive if their employer invested in the improvement of their health and well-being.

Gympass, a leading corporate wellness platform, has continued to emphasize the need to invest in employee wellness, urging that it’s no longer viewed as a mere perk but a necessity. Both large and small-scale employers who properly support their staff reap a long list of benefits and decrease costs while boosting productivity.

Walmart’s new facility, a significant upgrade from its previous Walton Life Fitness Center, focuses on whole health, featuring a multipurpose pool for swim lessons and aerobics, a lap pool, a hot tub and a shallow activity pool with a splash pad for children.

Fitness offerings include traditional gym equipment as well as studios for all workout types, including ones with calming views of nature, indoor and outdoor tennis courts, an indoor turf field, walking and jogging track, basketball courts and shared pickleball and volleyball courts.

“Oftentimes when we’re thinking about wellness, we may be thinking about wellness in a physical sense or wellness in a mental sense, whereas whole health is really sort of a more encompassing concept,” said Walt Cooper, Ph.D., and CEO of the Whole Health Institute. “This space was purposefully designed to provide you the opportunity to pause and reflect on what you need most.”

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Walmart Opens Giant Fitness Center Amid Corporate Wellness Wave

A promenade is also featured at the center, which the retailer indicates is designed for associates to “gather, learn, reflect and be mindful.” Outside, a meditation garden is available, as well as space for outdoor fitness classes and access to outdoor trails for walking, biking or running. Children are also encouraged to live healthfully with the facility’s youth activity center.

All part-time, full-time, and temporary Walmart and Sam’s Club Associates in the Northwest Arkansas area are eligible for a Walton Family Whole Health & Fitness membership for $12/bi-weekly for associates and $21/bi-weekly for an associate and immediate family.

The retailer partnered with HealthFitness to oversee operations of the new fitness and health facility.

Courtney Rehfeldt

Courtney Rehfeldt has worked in the broadcasting media industry since 2007 and has freelanced since 2012. Her work has been featured in Age of Awareness, Times Beacon Record, The New York Times, and she has an upcoming piece in Slate. She studied yoga & meditation under Beryl Bender Birch at The Hard & The Soft Yoga Institute. She enjoys hiking, being outdoors, and is an avid reader. Courtney has a BA in Media & Communications studies.

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