The Future of Workplace Fitness: 2024 Trends Shaping the Landscape

Busy business people walking by building entrance with glass doors and greenery

As we stride into the future, the landscape of workplace fitness is evolving rapidly to meet the diverse needs of modern employees. With the rise of hybrid and remote work, coupled with an increasing focus on holistic well-being, companies are embracing innovative approaches to promote health and fitness among their workforce.

A recent survey conducted by Mercer sheds light on the shifting priorities of employers, with 64% expressing their intent to enhance company health and well-being offerings. This proactive approach stems from a dual purpose: to attract and retain top talent and to better cater to the diverse needs of employees in an increasingly dynamic work environment.

Furthermore, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) has unveiled its Top 20 Fitness Trends for 2024, drawing insights from clinical, commercial, and corporate fitness professionals. Among these trends, Worksite Health Promotion has emerged as a standout, claiming the impressive #2 spot. Notably, this marks the first appearance of this trend within the prestigious ACSM rankings, underscoring its growing significance in the realm of workplace well-being.

Against this backdrop of heightened awareness and innovation, companies are poised to embrace a multitude of fitness trends aimed at optimizing employee health, productivity, and engagement. From flexible fitness solutions to holistic wellness programs, the landscape of workplace fitness is primed for evolution and expansion. Let us delve deeper into the anticipated trends that we see shaping the workplace fitness narrative in 2024.

1. Flexible Fitness Solutions

Ethnic woman standing in front of office buildings holding a yoga mat and looking at her smart phone

With the rise of remote work and flexible schedules, companies are embracing virtual fitness solutions to accommodate diverse employee needs. Virtual workout classes, wellness apps, online challenges and personal training sessions are gaining traction, allowing employees to stay active from the comfort of their homes or offices. Employers are partnering with fitness platforms to provide subsidized or free access to these resources, promoting physical activity and reducing barriers to exercise.

Among our CFW clients, we have found the most impactful solution integrates onsite and virtual platforms for a seamless employee experience between their home and office. The combination of in-person and digital fitness programs has expanded our reach to a wider range of employees. Beyond that, is the human connection behind the tech that gives employees familiar faces and authentic relationships that are critical for participants to remain engaged and succeed in their health and fitness journey.

2. Mindfulness and Mental Health

African American man wearing business attire sitting at his work desk meditating in front of his computer for mental health.

In an era marked by unprecedented stress and uncertainty, prioritizing mental health has become paramount. According to the 2023-24 SHRM State of the Workplace Report, employee mental health has continued to be a top overall concern for companies, reported at 66%. It was second to inflation at 73%, and just above labor shortages at 65%. Meditation sessions, resilience training, and mental health workshops are becoming integral components of corporate wellness programs. Employers are investing in digital mental health platforms to provide employees with tools for managing stress, anxiety, and burnout, fostering a supportive work environment that values holistic well-being.

As fitness professionals, we understand the role exercise and healthy lifestyle has in reducing stress, anxiety, and depression. The mental health benefits of fitness are woven into our onsite and digital programming to integrate with our clients’ overall strategies optimized by mental health coverage, EAP services, and culture-based improvements for work-life balance. We help by extending awareness of these benefits and provide education and opportunities for employees to practice mindfulness, explore meditation and yoga under the guidance of certified instructors, and encourage overall health habits that strengthen employee resilience and positive outlook.

3. Active Workstations and Ergonomic Design

Active Workstation

Recognizing the adverse effects of prolonged sitting on health, companies are investing in active workstations and ergonomic design principles. Height-adjustable desks, standing desks, and ergonomic chairs encourage movement and improve posture, thereby reducing the risk of musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs). MSDs are a significant occupational hazard for our nation and a most common cause given for lost or restricted worktime, noted with an overall economic burden of $45-$54 billion annually.

Employers are redesigning workspaces to prioritize employee comfort and health, recognizing that physical ergonomics play a crucial role in productivity and long-term well-being. At CFW, we help our clients address these areas by integrating education and guidance for proper workspace setup. Our certified fitness professionals prescribe exercises for strengthening and stretching areas commonly associated with MSDs, along with mobility cues and short movement breaks conducted in-person or virtually for remote and hybrid workers.

4. Holistic and Collaborative Approach

Close up image of water bottle, yellow hand weights, apple, athletic shoes, and a blue jump rope with CFW Solution icons for Movement, Recharge, Nutrition and Connection aligned a top of a gray background.

Gone are the days of fragmented wellness initiatives. Companies are embracing a more holistic approach that encompasses physical, mental, social, and emotional health. By integrating various elements such as nutrition counseling, financial wellness workshops, and team-building activities, organizations are fostering a comprehensive approach to employee well-being. This alignment contributes to a healthier, happier, and more engaged workforce. For this approach to be successful, companies need partners with expertise in each of these realms that are willing to collaborate and integrate with the overall well-being strategy.

As corporate fitness experts, we collaborate with HR/benefits teams, Employee Resource Groups, facilities, and amenities, as well as cafeteria and food service providers to extend our role beyond exercise. We design and deliver programming for our clients using the CFW Solution that combines elements of Movement, Recharge, Nutrition, and Connection to promote a holistic experience. This means a step challenge is more than just hitting a certain number of steps each day, it is coaching employees to move more in the workday to elevate mood and energy. It is giving them guidance to nourish the body with healthy food choices they have access to. It is leveraging benefits and resources to help them recharge and reduce stress, while creating interactions among diverse workgroups to foster a greater sense of community.

5. Community Engagement and Social Impact

African American man registering for a work place 5k walk/run event with a crowd of walkers and runners in the background behind him.

In the face of a loneliness epidemic, building a sense of community and connection within the workplace is crucial for employee well-being and organizational success. Lack of social connections has been associated with higher risks for premature death and chronic disease. On the flipside of that, research published by Deloitte identifies belonging in the workplace with a 56% greater job performance, 50% reduced turnover risk, 167% higher net promoter score, and 75% fewer sick days. In response to public health concerns of loneliness, the US Surgeon General's National Strategy suggests Cultivating a Culture of Connection, with workplaces being identified as ideal spaces to do so.

Employers are leveraging their wellness resources to implement community engagement initiatives and social impact projects to foster camaraderie and solidarity among employees. The corporate fitness centers and virtual programs we manage are perfect for these initiatives. We combine physical activity in a social setting with themes that align with community outreach and volunteering, diversity and inclusion, and cause awareness while making meaningful connections with co-workers that may otherwise not interact.  Through these collaborative efforts, we help organizations cultivate a culture of belonging and shared purpose that further promotes healthy behavior.

6. Well-Workspace Design

A diverse group of employees engagement in social activities in their workplace such as playing ping pong and socializing in the cafe.

The physical work environment plays a significant role in employee well-being and productivity. Recent survey findings from Gensler Research Institute identify four types of workspaces that strengthen employee work-life balance and their perceived need to work in-office vs. remote for optimal productivity. These include:

  1. Focus areas for individual work
  2. Collaborative spaces that inspire teamwork and innovation
  3. Areas to reflect and restore like meditation rooms and outdoor work areas, and
  4. Places for social connection like fitness centers, break areas, and cafés.

Employees with access to all four spaces had greater need to work in the office for productivity at 70%, as compared to those without access at 50%.

In 2024, workplace fitness facilities are evolving to include dedicated recovery and recharge spaces where employees can unwind, connect with colleagues, or engage in healthy activities. Our CFW Design Team is experiencing this trend first-hand, developing fitness center layouts and proposing innovative equipment options to help our clients incorporate meditation rooms, outdoor green spaces for fitness and yoga classes, recovery spaces with therapeutic tools to promote relaxation, and community spaces where employees can come together in casual games or activities that spur creativity and overall well-being.

7. Healthy Lifestyle and Weight Management

An overhead view of a heart shaped bowl filled with healthy fruits, a set of light blue hand weights, a stethascope all siting on top of Rx medical documents

While scientific evidence shows 80% of chronic disease and premature death can be prevented through healthy lifestyle, chronic conditions continue to pose a significant burden on both individuals and organizations. According to a Health Care Costs Report from the International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP), companies will experience an average 7% hike in health costs this year, with the largest expense attributed to chronic health conditions (22%), like heart disease, obesity, and diabetes. An emerging trend among workplace fitness is for healthy lifestyle programs to help reduce risks for these conditions, with a focus on weight management.

Weight management initiatives are certainly not new for our industry. What is new is the influence created by a surging popularity and clinical success of pharmaceuticals, known as semaglutides, that are enhancing the treatment of obesity and diabetes. More companies are covering these medications as the presumed cost of coverage is less than costs incurred from co-morbidities should the conditions continue to go unmanaged. Research studies evaluating the efficacy of these medications have found that for long-term success, the clinical treatments should be combined with healthy lifestyle habits in exercise and balanced nutrition to optimize metabolic function. As a result, we’re seeing a greater interest for healthy lifestyle coaching and fitness training focused on metabolic function and life-long weight management.

An image of a large group of people blurred to demonstrate their movement of walking outside on the street and sidewalks in front of city office buildings.

In conclusion, the future of workplace fitness in 2024 is characterized by innovation, inclusivity, and a holistic approach to employee well-being. By embracing flexible fitness solutions, prioritizing mental health, investing in ergonomic design, and fostering community engagement, companies can create healthier, happier, and more productive work environments for their employees. Here at CFW, we’re committed to helping companies realize these benefits by incorporating top trends and best practices into the employee health and fitness offering. Connect with us today to learn more.


  • Mercer US Health News: Planning for 2024 Employers will Enhance Benefits, Avoid Cost-Shifting,
  • 2024 ACSM Worldwide Fitness Trends: Future Directions of the Health and Fitness Industry,
  • Society for Human Resources Management: 2023-2024 SHRM State of the Workplace Report,
  • CDC Work Related Health Strategies: Work-Related Musculoskeletal Disorders & Ergonomics,
  • Wellness Council of America: Workplace Wellness Trends in 2024,
  • Surgeon General’s Advisory on our Epidemic of Loneliness and Isolation,
  • Elevating the Workforce Experience: The Belonging Relationship,
  • Gensler’s Work, Life, and the Workplace Survey Report 2023,
  • J. Health Promotion: Lifestyle as Medicine: The Case for a True Health Initiative,
  • International Foundation of Employee Benefits Plans: Health Care Costs Pulse Survey 2024 Cost Trend,