‘Workout work room’ keeps employees moving at IQ Solutions

Correction: An earlier version of this story included an incorrect spelling of Kim Callinan’s name. This version has been corrected.

Company:
IQ Solutions.

Location: Rockville.

Employees: 250.

Staffers at Rockville-based IQ Solutions don’t need to visit their office gym to get moving during the workday.

That’s because the health care communications firm has transformed an empty office into what it calls a “workout work room,” a space that allows staffers to burn some calories and get work done at the same time.

The room is equipped with two work stations that allow a user to walk on a treadmill and work on a computer at the same time. The facility is not meant to be a substitute for vigorous exercise, as the treadmill doesn’t get up to high speeds. But it’s meant to provide supplemental activity to help keep workers from being sedentary during the work day.

Many people use the equipment “if they’ve got something that they’re working on or they have a deadline, but they still need to get some movement in,” said Denise Crute, director of training.

The idea for the workout room evolved when the company noticed that many of its staffers were not able to participate in its evening exercise and nutrition classes because they had to pick up children from school or day care. But Crute said IQ Solutions believed it was important for employees to “walk the talk” when it came to the health topics that are a core part of the company’s business.

The workout work room, Crute said, was a way to give people the opportunity to exercise at a different time of day.

Kim Callinan, a senior vice president, said she’ll often hop on the treadmill after she’s had a long stretch of back-to-back meetings and needs to spend a good bit of time reading e-mails. She also occasionally dials in to conference calls from the workout work room, especially if she’s just listening to the call and not leading it.

Callinan even conducts meetings on the treadmill by getting a colleague to join her in the workout room to walk on its second machine.

“It just keeps you moving and keeps your blood flowing,” Callinan said. “It’s just a change of scenery.”

Sarah Halzack is The Washington Post's national retail reporter. She has previously covered the local job market and the business of talent and hiring. She has also served as a Web producer for business and economic news.
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