AUSTIN, Texas, Feb. 10, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- If your corporate health program isn't attracting as many employees as you'd like, the problem might be that co-workers are breaking the rules of good behavior in the gym.
"The exercise and fitness community has many stated and unstated rules of etiquette. For example, swimmers coexist in close proximity in lap lanes, pacing and passing smoothly without saying a word. Cyclists in our beautiful Hill Country not only maneuver among cars, they also share the road with each other," said Sharon Schweitzer, JD, Corporate Etiquette & International Protocol Consultant, and president of Austin-based Protocol and Etiquette Worldwide, http://www.protocolww.com
"Many companies that offer employee benefits like a wellness program find that attendance sags," she said. "For a corporate wellness program to work, you just might find that business etiquette will go a long way toward building a successful business."
Whether you are an exercise novice or a fitness buff at a company, or a luxury resort or spa, these etiquette rules will help you avoid a gym faux pas.
1. Appropriate Athletic Attire. Be sure your athletic attire covers what needs to be covered and fits properly. Certain cardio, strength and Pilates exercises require work on a bike, bench or the floor. Be sure that bottoms are not so loose as to be revealing when you are bending over or prone. Wear a proper sports bra and clean athletic shoes. Learn the fitness facility boundaries for sport-specific athletic shoes (such as spin shoes).
2. Fragrance. Be sure to wear antiperspirant. Avoid perfume and heavy make-up while working out. If a fellow exerciser's fragrance is overwhelming, visit with the front desk, email the club or slip a note in the suggestion box. Arrive clean, not covered in mulch from gardening!
3. Noise. Remember the goal is to focus on the workout without distractions. Keep your headphones and personal music tuned to an acceptable level so you may enjoy the music solo. People focusing on their routines do not appreciate singing, karaoke, personal cell phone conversations or loud discussions in the fitness facility. Use your inside voice at all times.
4. Mirrors. During an exercise, people watch themselves to monitor form and execution. If a weight or machine is in front of someone performing a set, it is polite to wait for them to finish. Avoid primping, hair design and preening in front of the mirrors as others observe this behavior, and you do not want to be "that person."
5. Perspiration & Anti-bacterial Wipes. Please wipe the equipment before you sit down, and be sure to wipe down the machine when you finish, regardless of whether you perspired. Many fitness facilities provide anti-bacterial wipes or towels to wipe the machines when finished. This includes the spin bike at the end of spin class!
6. Equipment. Cooperation is the key here. While resting between sets, do not stay on the machine. Allow others to work into your sets. Ask politely if you wish to "work in." Return equipment such as Bosu balls and mats, untie rubber bands, unload weight bars and re-rack free weights. Leaving weights on the floor is unsafe and may cause others to trip. Limit exercise on cardio equipment to 30 minutes during peak hours.
7. Locker Room. Remember this is shared space for a large number of people. Avoid placing your items all over the bench provided for sitting to change. Place clothing directly in the locker. Be sure your cell phone is turned off or to "silent" when placed in the locker. Remember to clean make-up from the counter. Refrain from walking around naked; the majority of people feel a little uncomfortable being so close to someone who is baring it all!
To find out how Sharon Schweitzer can speak to your company about this topic, go to http://www.protocolww.com
About Sharon Schweitzer
Sharon Schweitzer came to the field of Etiquette and Protocol through her work as an attorney, often advising clients about interaction and behavior in local and international business situations.
A board-certified labor and employment lawyer and certified professional in human resources, Sharon is also a trained mediator. Along with tenures at renowned Austin and Dallas-based law firms, she served several years as an assistant attorney general. Sharon has a depth of experience assisting clientele from Fortune 500 companies to start-up firms.
Sharon provides executive coaching sessions and corporate instruction in International Protocol, Business Etiquette, Professional Dining Savvy, Dine Like a Diplomat, Electronic Communications, and Social Media.
She attended South Texas College of Law on an Advocacy Scholarship and received her J.D. in 1989. She holds a B.A. degree from The Ohio State University.
SOURCE Sharon Schweitzer