LONDON, United Kingdom — Boutique fitness operator Ten Health and Fitness has opened its ninth studio in the capital following £4 million in growth capital. The new site focuses on employee wellbeing to address posture-related issues, stress and anxiety, all of which are afflicting the modern workforce.
Located at 1 Stephen Street, W1, just off Tottenham Court Road, the studio offers physiotherapy, massage, 1-1 Pilates sessions, personal training, rehab and clinical exercise, as well as onsite workplace assessments and rooftop fitness classes.
A departure from the typical Ten model, the new studio is primarily intended to deliver a holistic workplace wellness package for the needs of the tenants and staff housed in the building, which is owned by London real estate investment trust Derwent London.
A statement from Ten read: “The new venture for Ten sets out to address two factors that affect the way we work today. First, the needs of developers, landlords and employers to make workplaces happier healthier and more productive. And secondly, the rise in posture-related musculoskeletal issues, stress and anxiety amongst today’s workforce.”
Ten’s “MoveBetter” approach sets out to address these issues and reflects the growing trend of corporate companies relying on wellness businesses to deliver practical and effective solutions for employee wellbeing, engagement and productivity.
“Our approach is inherently ‘prehabilitative’,” explains Ten founder and Managing Director Joanne Mathews.
“We describe MoveBetter as the workout for the way we live now. It’s highly effective and with significantly reduced injury risk and a more sustainable approach to living. Because it’s so immersive and mindful and requires so much focus and precision, a session is also a great stress-buster – a time-out from day-to-day pressures.”
Having talked to the team at Derwent London about the idea, “it was clear that they could see the advantages of our way of thinking, and that they were as willing to try something new as we were,” adds Ten Brand and Property Director Justin Rogers.
Boutique Market Leader
A report from the Global Wellness Institute recently suggested that the economic burden of an unwell, unproductive and disengaged workforce is costing 10-15% of global economic output.
In spite of these challenges, the value of workplace wellness continues to rise, expanding by 4.8% between 2015-17 to a $48 billion-sized chunk of the $4.2 trillion global wellness industry.
It’s an area that has become big business. In 2011, the World Economic Forum and Boston Consulting Group identified at least 120 organisations worldwide focused on workplace wellness. The number has undoubtedly ballooned since then and it is being supported by increasing investment into companies capable of delivering workplace wellness solutions.
In June Ten Health and Fitness secured £4 million growth capital from Foresight Group LLP, an independent infrastructure and private equity investment manager.
A Foresight statement read: “The investment from Foresight will drive forward plans to roll out the Ten brand to additional locations across Greater London, doubling the size of the business within three years.
Mathews added: “We’re really happy to be partnering with Foresight on the next stage of Ten’s evolution. Our mission has always been to bring more Ten-ness to more people in more places, and we’re really excited about being able to drive the pace of growth in line with our ambitions, with the goal of becoming the market leader in wellness within the boutique health and fitness sector.”
Beyond Physical Wellness
The global trend towards workplace wellness extends far beyond physical solutions like Ten, however. Gymshark, one of the UK’s fastest-growing athleisure companies – which recently unveiled a $7 million gym and innovation hub next to its HQ in Birmingham – is one example of a forward-thinking company investing in the mental as well as financial wellbeing of its employees in partnership with Unmind and HSBC, respectively.
Meanwhile, a recent health and wellbeing at work-study by Optum, data analysts specialising in health innovation, suggests employers are increasingly focusing on behavioural health and women’s health when it comes to workplace wellness initiatives.
Optum surveyed 544 employers across medium (100 to 2,999 employees) to very large (10,000 or more employees) sized companies, and found 81% expect to increase spending on wellness programs. A decade prior, this number was just 31%.
Mental health was found to be a chief concern, with 87% of respondents saying they were concerned about employee access to behavioural healthcare and 88% saying they plan to address mental health stigmas within the next year, using new digital tools and provider networks.
Employers also see women’s health as an emerging focus for wellness programs, with 87% planning to invest further in women’s wellbeing over the next three years, specifically addressing maternity care and fertility services.
The survey found that since 2016, the employer provision of maternity programs has risen from 59% to 74%, neonatal support is up from 41% to 68% and fertility solutions has more than doubled, growing from 30% to 64%.
With more businesses such as Derwent London and Gymshark, at vastly different ends of the corporate spectrum, recognising the impact of wellness specialists on the wellbeing of their staff, companies set up to address workplace-related mental and women’s health needs are sure to capitalise over the coming years.