How OPC has Created A Thriving Fitness Environment For Those 50+
The Older Person Commission (OPC) is a 90,000 sq. ft. tri-municipality recreational facility dedicated to serving the 50+ community in Rochester, Michigan. OPC recognizes that traditional gyms often don’t meet the needs of older adults and works hard to provide a welcoming environment that promotes healthy aging for the whole-body.
OPC saw the value of having HUR pneumatic strength training equipment for their members and has been a customer for 18 years. In 2022 they upgraded their equipment from SmartCard to SmartTouch technology. We sat down with Mandy Mullins, the Fitness & Aquatics Manager at OPC to learn more. We wanted to hear directly from their members about the daily impact HUR strength training equipment has had on their lives. So we created a brief survey to learn more, and the response was overwhelming. Here is what Mandy and the members of the OPC community had to say.
Mandy: OPC isn’t just a gym, it's a social hub. We work hard to create a welcoming environment that provides safe, fun, and innovative exercise options for the beginner to the competitive athlete. In fact, when we put TV’s in the gym, our members requested to have captions only, because they preferred to talk and enjoy one another while working out. Many of our members come and work out together then have coffee or lunch afterwards.
Q: How has the HUR strength training equipment impacted your programs?
Mandy: Our members have always loved the HUR equipment. In fact, when touring new members, the HUR equipment is a huge differentiator for us from traditional gyms. Our members appreciate how easy the equipment is to use. In addition, when we announced we were upgrading the equipment many members were nervous about switching over to the new software.
Mandy: I’ve heard a lot of positive feedback, but I wanted to dig deeper. I surveyed our members and over 40% said the feature they valued most was the automated seat adjustments and auto loading of the individual program - a feature only available with HUR SmartTouch. The second most important feature was a tie between how easy the HUR equipment is to get on and off of and the Pneumatic (air) resistance.
As a manager, I have also benefited from the software upgrade! We have increased participation with members using the individual SmartTouch fobs vs. the SmartCards. This has made it easier for me to track participation.
Mandy: There is often a misconception that the elderly aren’t interested in strength training, but this simply isn’t true. Our members want to strength train, so they have the strength and energy to do the things they enjoy. The key is having equipment that is easy for them to use and easy to reap the benefits. In fact, our survey responses supported this statement. Our members overwhelmingly expressed that not only do they feel stronger since using the HUR equipment, but the strength they gained has allowed them to do a number of things:
- “It is easier to perform outdoor chores”
- “I no longer have issues riding my bike up big hills”
- “I am able to stay active without discomfort”
- “I can do more day-to-day activities without ending up in pain”
- “I can be more active and participate in some competitive activities”
Q: OPC is a not-for-profit organization. Did you run into any funding issues when seeking to upgrade the equipment?
Mandy: When we first decided to upgrade, we thought we would upgrade one piece of equipment at a time. However, HUR was able to offer a financing deal that allowed us to upgrade all of the equipment at once. Upgrading all at once allowed us to provide a better experience vs. having a mixture of software.