A concern by management for the enriched lifestyle of its employees led to the development of industrial recreation programs during leisure hours. Evolving from this concept has been the relatively recent interest in employee fitness programs.

Until recently, the question of labour viewing these programs as a potential negotiable benefit was never addressed. However, it is anticipated that this will change. Labour did not show an interest in this area before because fitness facilities were small, totally paid for by management and participants tended to be middle and upper, white-collar management levels.

Labour interest has now increased due to expansion of fitness facilities and thus, many programs allow all employees to take part and even charge a slight fee. Program results reveal benefits to companies in absenteeism and productivity measures which are statistics well known to labour negotiation.

Labour must now conduct research to ascertain such things as who should take part in a fitness program, who pays, company time for workouts, can personnel departments use test results for promotion, etc? They require this information because employee fitness programs should perhaps be a negotiated benefit.