Making health and wellness a priority with fitness app Zeamo

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Health and wellness are a top priority for today’s workforce, and fitness app Zeamo is giving employers flexibility and accessibility when it comes to offering a gym benefit.

Zeamo bills itself as a “fitness passport,” and offers day passes, weekly and month-to-month memberships at more than 1,500 fitness clubs across North America, with expansion plans for 2020. Employers pay “less than a cup of coffee” per employee to offer the benefit, says Paul O’Reilly-Hyland, founder and CEO of Zeamo.

“Having a fitter employee actually does benefit companies all around,” he says. “Employers have three demographics now who all want different things. We have to be about inclusion.”

According to Rand, 69% of employers currently offer a wellness benefit. However, just 10% of the workforce actually utilizes a gym reimbursement program, O’Reilly Hyland says. But encouraging wellness positively affects not just physical well-being, but a company’s bottom line: a study by Health Affairs found medical costs dropped $3.27 and absenteeism costs fell $2.73 per dollar spent on wellness programs. Additionally companies with healthier employees reported greater productivity.

O’Reilly-Hyland says Gen Z and millennials are demanding more inclusive and flexible lifestyle benefits, but there are advantages for all employees, regardless of age.

See also: Younger generations driving lifestyle benefits

“Older generations are looking at their parents and saying, I need to do something to maintain my health now, and they’re worried about medical costs,” he says. “And Gen Z and millennials are the most photographed and judged generation — they want to look and feel better.”

Zeamo is focused on offering maximum flexibility when it comes to accessing a health club or gym. Once a company signs up for access, employees simply download the Zeamo app, find a gym or class and purchase access. Day passes are as low as $5. Monthly subscriptions are $25-$175 for unlimited access, without additional membership or cancellation fees.

“Flexibility is key for everyone involved. A lot of people want to work out near their home, or companies have workers all over the place,” he says. “The days of offering one set of benefits for one set of employees are over.”

Employer plans are highly customizable and costs employers nothing to sign up for the service, though Zeamo offers subsidies to offset costs employees will pay for membership. Currently, Zeamo is working with top consulting firms and investment banks and has partnerships with Retro Fitness and Crunch gyms, among others.

“The gym industry is highly fragmented, and they are very keen about the one-year contract [model],” O’Reilly-Hyland says. “But one thing gyms aren't getting are corporate clients. So we're making it easier — there's a big need for employers to offer this benefit to employees, and gyms want the corporate clients.”

O’Reilly-Hyland says Zeamo’s goal is to make fitness accessible for both employers and employees to reap the benefits of a healthier workplace.

“A lot of employers don’t offer as much as they could, so this is about inclusion,” he says. “When your employees are motivated and working and playing together, it ticks all the boxes.”

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