WELL Tip: Navigating preconditions for the Fitness concept

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WELL Tip: Navigating preconditions for the Fitness concept

Wednesday, April 18, 2018
/ By:
Tori Shepherd

Fitness concept at Frasers Property Australia
The central staircase at Frasers Property Australia - RHODES Tenancy not only facilitates intermittent bouts of activity throughout the day, but also serves as a meeting place

Have you ever considered a WELL precondition for the Fitness concept and wondered where to begin? Not to fret – we’ve launched a Navigating preconditions series to help project teams get started incorporating a number of preconditions from different WELL concepts into their project’s design and policies.

What are the building blocks of the Fitness concept?

The Fitness features promote the integration of physical activity into everyday life by providing the opportunities and support for an active lifestyle and discouraging sedentary behaviors. Key terms include diabetes, heart disease, metabolic syndrome, obesity and Walk Score®.  

Project teams looking to refresh their knowledge of subjects referenced throughout the Fitness Concept are encouraged to consult the Glossary for more information.

Who are the relevant stakeholders?

Depending on project scope, it may be helpful to consider engaging the following team members when implementing Fitness features:

  • Architect

  • Company CFO

  • Human resources representative

  • Interior designer

  • Landscape architect

  • Occupants, employees and/or other tenants can be engaged through focus groups or surveys

  • Workplace wellness or benefits staff

How should you approach a feature?



  1. Understand the feature intent and background. Here you can learn how requirements aim to address particular challenges associated with human health and well-being. If you’re interested in learning more, check out the Fitness WELLography™ on the Build WELL App.

  2. Read feature requirements and associated verification methods.

  3. Determine stakeholders.

  4. Consult the FAQs: your question may have already been answered!

  5. Explore equivalent standards, codes or practices that may be more applicable to your project type and location.

  6. Explore published alternative adherence paths (AAPs). If all other options are exhausted, the project may develop and submit a new AAP which meets the feature intent in a method dissimilar from feature requirements.

  7. If you are also pursuing another certification program, consult the BREEAM, Green Star, LEED or Living Building Challenge Crosswalks for guidance on dual certification overlaps and efficiencies, such as features that align to provide partial equivalence or full compliance.

  8. Seek inspiration from IWBI’s Article Library, such as WELL Story: Fitness at MNP Tower.

  9. Consult Standard Citations for additional information. Find them by expanding the tab at the bottom of each feature on the Digital Standard.

  10. If you still have questions after consulting these resources, reach out to your WELL coaching contact for guidance and technical support.





To encourage intermittent bouts of physical activity and reduce sedentary behavior through accessible, safe and visually appealing stairs, entryways and corridors.

Strategies to Consider

While not mandatory, the strategies below may be helpful to evaluate when developing your own project-specific approach to meeting Feature 64:

  • Single-story interiors projects located in a multistory building may achieve this feature if sufficient access is provided to the base-building stairs (which must meet Parts 1-3).

  • Projects struggling to meet Part 2 should consult the Published AAP tab to review the multiple AAPs that may be applicable.   

  • Projects with more than one staircase should consult the Published AAP tab.

  • Consider submitting a new AAP that meets the feature intent.

Questions to Drive the Conversation

  • What stair specifications, such as width between handrails, are outlined in local code? 

  • For existing buildings, what elements currently inhibit or incentivize stair usage or movement through paths of frequent travel? 

  • If the tenants have been determined or are already in the space, what facilitative aesthetics will resonate with them most?

  • For existing projects, what are the current lux levels throughout common stairs and paths of frequent travel?

Relevant Resources



To promote active lifestyles through the provision of physical activity incentive programs.

Strategies to Consider

While not mandatory, the strategies below may be helpful to evaluate when developing your own project-specific approach to meeting Feature 65:

  • Consider reaching out to local fitness studios to receive corporate discounts or establish partnerships.

  • Consider offering complimentary onsite fitness opportunities, which may also help your project achieve some of the Fitness optimizations. 

  • For existing office projects, consider administering employee surveys to determine if and how occupants are utilizing any existing activity incentive programs, as well as to determine new activity incentive programs that would be most impactful to occupants.

  • If there is not a designated team member who oversees these benefits, consider nominating a staff member to work with leadership to champion these efforts.

  • Consider utilizing one of various published AAPs, such as offering company-sponsored sports teams or offering incentives to employees who independently engage in exercise or other healthy activities. 

  • Consider submitting a new AAP that meets the feature intent.

Questions to Drive the Conversation

  • Does the current health insurance policy offer benefits, such as discounts on gym memberships or bike share programs, or rewards for attendance to a gym or group fitness class, which could help achieve the feature requirements?

  • What programs would offer the greatest incentive to occupants based on contextual factors, such as preference, lifestyle, location and access?

  • What activity incentive programs would motivate YOU specifically to stay active?

Relevant Resources

  • Registered projects may ask their WELL coaching contact for access to Sample Documentation for this feature. 

Tori serves on the Market Solutions team at the International WELL Building Institute (IWBI). As a WELL Faculty member and LEED Green Associate, Tori utilizes her expertise in environmental sustainability and human health as she provides technical assistance and customer support to project teams and industry professionals.

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