Faculty and staff members have a newly renovated space on campus dedicated to their health and wellness.

The Wellness Research Center, also known as the employee gym, is located in the Education Complex and has undergone major renovations and equipment enhancements over the past year. The facility will reopen Aug. 23 with the start of the fall 2021 semester.

The facility is free to all faculty and staff at UCF and will be open during the following times Monday through Friday:

  • 6 – 9 a.m.
  • 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.
  • 4 – 7:30 p.m. (Fridays the gym will close at 6 p.m.)

More hours will be added if there is demand.

Adam Wells ’12MS ’15PhD, an associate professor in the Division of Kinesiology, manages the gym and used the pandemic shutdown as an opportunity to continue renovations to the space.

“One of the big goals we wanted to accomplish was making the gym a more welcoming place to work out in,” Wells says. “We maintain a safe and clean environment. Our hours are conducive to faculty and staff members’ schedules; people can even come in and workout during their lunch break.”

The first 50 faculty or staff to sign up for a free membership after the fall 2021 reopening will receive a WRC branded Blender Bottle, towel, bag and ID lanyard.

Improvements in the gym include new cardio bikes, two Olympic racks with platforms, new dumbbells ranging from 5 pounds to 100 pounds, weight plates, trap bars and a belt squat platform.

The gym also features the addition of a clean air system that will keep the facility cool, while also using integrated technology to help remove pathogens from the air.  Another new feature coming in the spring of 2022 is the availability of workout videos on the WRC website, led by kinesiology students.

The showers and locker rooms were also renovated the year before.

Wells, who worked in the WRC during his time as a graduate student at UCF, is committed to making the gym more user-friendly through services and programs run by the School and Kinesiology and Physical Therapy. In the future, Wells hopes to offer services such as body composition analysis and fitness assessments, as well as other services to help employees understand their fitness level.

The WRC offers opportunities to participate in research within the Division of Kinesiology, where faculty and students explore the efficacy of different exercise modalities.

“There has always been a research component to the facility,” Wells says. “It doubles as a lab for exercise physiology interventions when needed for research. And it serves as a practicum site for our undergraduate kinesiology students.”

Jeffrey Stout, Pegasus Professor and director of the School of Kinesiology and Physical Therapy, says that the lab will be an asset for researchers, as well as employees striving to improve their health and wellness.

“Exercise is medicine,” says Stout. “We want people to take charge of their health. Having the Wellness Research Center available on campus for faculty and staff to work out, and a dedicated space where health and wellness research can take place, is an asset to everyone in the UCF community who wants to improve their overall well-being.”

For more information about the UCF Wellness Research Center, visit healthprofessions.ucf.edu/wrc.

As an extra perk, the first 50 faculty or staff to sign up for a free membership after the fall 2021 reopening will receive a WRC branded Blender Bottle, towel, bag and ID lanyard.