MSP Walkway workstation – photo by Robert Little
*This story is by Robert Little, a high school student who has been working with StuckatTheAirport.com on a variety of project this summer. Thanks, Robert, for all your help!
Most travelers don’t associate airports with exercise, beyond the dreaded run to catch a flight, but some airports are putting these two together. Wishing to help maximize travelers’ precious time, some airports are providing experiences that allow passengers to exercise, while at the same time hopefully ensuring their continued business.
We found two great examples:
Partnering with Minneapolis International Airport since April 2015, Kari Severson, CEO of Minneapolis start-up Walkway, wants to kick the habit of sitting; seeing it almost as the next taboo.
Severson’s Walkways are treadmills that can be bought or leased through a partnership with the company.
Travelers passing through Terminal 1 of MSP airport are offered two free of charge.
Passengers can simply walk up to one for 30 minutes sessions before or between flights. The machines are programmed not to go above five miles an hour, which ensures the traveler will not break a sweat, but will still receive a beneficial workout.
While the user is working out they’re shown a short commercial, after which they get free charging of their mobile device and Wi-Fi access.
Walkway hopes to expand to more airports in the future and has already partnered with the American Diabetes Association and other Fortune 500 companies in the Minneapolis area.
For the traveler looking for a more comprehensive workout, GoodLife Fitness has a club at Toronto Pearson Airport in Terminal 1. The advantage to having it on the pre-security side is that more airport visitors are able to access it, but it does limit the number of those are willing to clear security again.
All GoodLife members with “all clubs access” are able to access the club everyone else can use the club by purchasing a $15 day pass.
In addition to wide variety of cardo machines and free weights, the 10,000 sq. workout facility at Pearson Airport offers features that make it easy to work out, including luggage storage, showers and clothing and shoe rentals.
Toronto Pearson also boasts other health benefits for travelers, including two massage studios, (one in Terminal 1 and another in Terminal 3), as well as a walk-in clinic and pharmacy.
An even simpler option for the passenger just connecting to another gate are various walking paths in airports.
The American Heart Association has created a list of airports and the provided distances. Airports to look out for include Dallas/Fort Worth (1 ¾ mile), Indianapolis (~2 mile), Minneapolis (1.4 mile), Cleveland (1 ½ mile), and St. Louis (1 ½ mile).