UNK Wellness Center sees increase in use six months after opening

UNK-Fitness-Center
Between October and December 2014, a total of 4,434 people used the new UNK Wellness Center, an increase of 1,249 users – or 416 more per month – from the 3,185 who used the old weight room and workout area.

By SARA GIBONEY
UNK Communications

KEARNEY – More students, faculty and staff are working out thanks to the new Wellness Center at the University of Nebraska at Kearney.

An average of 1,478 people per month are using the fitness center, a 39 percent increase from the 1,061 per month who used the former facility.

Sierra-Welsh-
University of Nebraska at Kearney student Sierra Welsh works out in the new fitness area that is the centerpiece of the $6.5 million UNK Wellness Center that opened in August. An average of 1,478 people per month are using the fitness center, a 39 percent increase from the 1,061 per month the previous year.

“Students are still pretty excited about the Wellness Center,” chair of the Department of Kinesiology and Sport Sciences Nita Unruh said of the facility, which opened in August 2014. “We stay pretty busy.”

The $6.5 million Wellness Center is a 19,000-square-foot facility east of Cushing Coliseum. The center includes program and research space, in addition to a large fitness center and rock climbing wall.

The fitness center, which features 48 pieces of state-of-the-art cardiovascular equipment and two weight lifting areas, has had an increase in users since the fall of 2013.

Between October and December 2014, a total of 4,434 people used the new Wellness Center, an increase of 1,249 users – or 416 more per month – from the 3,185 who used the old weight room and workout area. UNK staff began tracking usage in October.

Unruh said there’s been a 66 percent increase in usage by female students, from 1,380 the final three months of 2013 to 2,297 in the same period of 2014.

The increase, she said, could be due to the addition of more cardio equipment. The former fitness area had just 17 pieces of cardiovascular equipment.

Ryo-Suzuki-Rock-Wall-3
Ryo Suzuki climbs the rock wall inside the new fitness center.

The 30-foot rock climbing wall has been another draw to the facility.

“We’ve had a great response to the rock climbing wall. It’s been a good addition. We’ve had more faculty wanting to use it for classes, and events with sororities and fraternities (are also popular),” Unruh said.

Fitness classes are also offered in the newly renovated fitness studio, which is located in the former weight room. Eight- and 16-week sessions of yoga, Zumba and Pilates are offered to students, faculty and staff.

In addition to group fitness classes, the fitness studio is used by the UNK Yoga Club, Swing Dance Club, UNK Cheer Squad and Sapphires Dance Team.

“I think our growth has been tremendous,” Unruh added.

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Source: Nita Unruh, 308.865.8345, yeagleym@unk.edu
Writer: Sara Giboney, 308.865.8529, giboneys2@unk.edu

Sara Ritzdorf
Sara Ritzdorf

 

 

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