Physical Fitness Opportunities for Faculty and Staff at the University of Tennessee
The following committee report was presented to the Faculty Senate Athletics Committee and approved in April, 2001.
Report on fitness options available to the faculty and staff at the University of Tennessee at Knoxville.
Authored by: Colonel Frank Schreck, Air Force ROTC; Harold Denton, Aquatic Center/Rec Sports; Dr. James Bailey, Nutrition.
Table of Contents
RecSports Intramural Field Fact Sheet
- RecSports Center Fact Sheet
- Student Aquatic Center
- Aquatic Center support areas
- HPER Building
- Stokely Athletic Center
- Outdoor Rec Facilities
- RecSports Programs
- Aquatic Center Pools
- Intramural Sports
- Special interest groups centering on learning skills, competing, and socializing
- Outdoor Recreation
- Fitness & RecAerobics
Area Personnel and Budget Impact
A Summary of Faculty Physical Fitness Needs
- RecSports Administrative Office
A Listing of Survey Results
[Note: Only the Executive Summary is included in this online version of the report.]
The physical fitness subcommittee was charged to finalize a report on fitness options available to faculty and staff.
While our efforts do not specifically focus on the academic physical fitness courses offered at UTK, they are numerous. These courses cover nearly every sport and activity imaginable and range from beginner level to advanced courses. Instructors with expertise in the specific activity teach each class with an enjoyable approach, encouraging a fun way to be more active. These courses are open to all faculty and staff and can be taken for credit or no credit. All courses can be found in the University catalogue.
The primary efforts of this subcommittee and this report were to document all of the fitness options available on the UTK campus. We have compiled an in-depth report that chronicles every fitness facility on this campus. The document, which can be found at Attachment 1, not only lists the capability of every facility but also includes such detailed information such as size, types of fitness activities, capacity, hours of operation, points of contact, phone numbers, and even e-mail addresses.
The report provides the Web address for RecSports that will provide a continuously up-to-date listing of all available fitness activities. This report covers the complete range of activities from the Student Aquatic Center, the Health Physical Education and Recreation (HPER) building and all outdoor facilities. This report even covers the entire line-up of intramural sports that are, of course, open to all faculty and staff.
Very early on this subcommittee realized that one of the most significant issues surrounding fitness options available to faculty and staff was awareness of the options available. In order to address this short fall, the subcommittee (with significant help from RecSports) developed a 'quick-reference' flyer titled "... Not Just for Students." (Attachment 2) This flyer briefly explains many of the popular services and activities available on the campus.
Not being content, the Athletics Committee felt that this product would certainly be of interest to nearly all faculty and staff. Therefore, in January 2001, we conducted a mass mailing of over 5000 flyers to UTK faculty and staff.
Additionally, in an attempt to generate more interest, every flyer contained a coupon for a free 2-week trial user pass that can be used at any of the RecSports facilities.
One final aspect of this subcommittee's efforts was an attempt to determine the type, level and extent of physical fitness activities that our faculty and staff participate in.
A survey was conducted and distributed via electronic mail to the faculty and staff of The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. (Attachment 3) The primary focus of the survey was to gain insight into the physical fitness climate, preferences, and dissatisfactions of those faculty and staff members.
Approximately 341 people took part. The breakdown of those taking the survey was as follows:
Only 36% of the individuals responding indicated that they participated in some kind of physical fitness activity on campus. The following is a rank order of the most popular fitness activities:
When asked the question "Can the University do something to improve these activities, 78% indicated "yes."
When asked, "What are the top two improvements that the University should invest in" the most popular responses were:
When asked "Are the facilities adequate for faculty/staff recreation and exercise needs?" 51% stated, "yes" that the facilities were adequate. Surprisingly, over 16% stated that they did not know if the facilities were adequate, indicating that they were unfamiliar with what the University had to offer in terms of fitness and recreation facilities.
- More/better locker facilities (clean and air conditioned) at the Aquatic Center and HPER
- Better parking accommodations
- Swimming--more efficient use of Aquatic Center--don't give swim club priority or more hours
- Expand hours for all facilities
- More/better/newer workout/Nautilus equipment
As an addendum to the question above, we asked, "what two changes to the facilities would you recommend?" The top responses are listed below:
Each respondent was asked, "If you do not participate in an on-campus fitness activity, why?" The most frequent responses are listed below:
- Walking/biking trail
- More publicity about what is available
- More faculty/staff only programs
- More/better locker facilities
- More aerobic equipment
- Some sort of facility on Ag Campus
Finally, each surveyed person was asked, "Do you have any recommendations that would increase your probability of exercising on campus?" The most frequent responses are listed below:
- Not enough time
- No facilities on Ag Campus
- Cost and convenience
- Lack of awareness
- Prefer to use commercial facilities
All recommendations for changes and improvements to fitness programs and facilities were consolidated. These comments amounted to over 28 pages of individual recommendations. (Attachment 4) While it would be impossible to act upon or address every recommendation, there were several suggestions that are feasible and could provide significant improvement.
- Establish a fitness/workout program just for faculty/staff (like a normal class), conducted by knowledgeable instructors.
- Improve the available parking
- Aerobic classes with a better variety of times offered (ie, before work, noon-hour, afternoon)
- Regularly let faculty/staff know what is available to them via mailing or e-mail and/or Web page
- Better accessibility at the Aquatic Center
- More/better equipment to alleviate over-crowding at peak times
The complete survey results have been turned over to RecSports. They have already acted upon many of the recommendations and continue to dissect the remainder of the survey.
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