Faculty and staff exercise facility back in Trees Hall as Ignite Fitness


Pitt faculty and staff can exercise and play recreational sports at several on-campus facilities and now there’s another option — Ignite Fitness in Trees Hall.

Ignite Fitness, formerly part of Be Fit Pitt, is offered by the School of Education’s Department of Health and Human Development in a small gym on the main floor of Trees Hall. The facility provides open gym hours with cardio and weight machines, free weights and other equipment and small group fitness classes. The gym also is supported by graduate student assistants who will set up a personalized fitness program.

Membership is open to Pitt faculty and staff, UPMC employees and Veterans Affairs employees for $100 for the remainder of the semester. The price for the full spring 2023 semester will be $150. For information, contact ignitefp@pitt.edu.

The Be Fit Pitt program was active before the pandemic at the Trees Hall gym and online during the first summer of the pandemic with a variety of exercise videos. The program went on hiatus after the person who started it — Renee Rogers, former associate professor in the School of Education — left Pitt in April 2021.

At that time, School of Education Dean Valerie Kinloch said a program would continue after they figured out the leadership of it.

Other on-campus facilities that faculty and staff can use include:

Trees Hall: Lower level fitness center, indoor pool, basketball courts, racquetball courts, indoor climbing wall and driving range

Bellefield Hall: Fitness center, weight room, basketball court, aerobic/dance studio, gymnasium and indoor pool

Fitzgerald Field House: Indoor running track and squash courts

University Club: Membership-only fitness center

“Regular exercise contributes to a healthy lifestyle and the University is invested in the care of all their employees,” Nichole Dwyer, spokesperson for the Office of Human Resources, said, “Having available fitness centers on campus may be valuable to some employees that may not have access to facilities closer to where they live and provides a convenient option for those employees to increase their physical and mental wellbeing.”

“While it is valuable to have fitness centers available, it is not the only option for physical activity,” she continued. “The Panther Walking Route provides an outdoor walking path with 10 stops across campus, with a QR code to learn more about each. Our partnership with POGOH (Pittsburgh’s bike share system) provides unlimited 30-minute bicycle rides throughout the city.”

Human Resources offers other fall wellness opportunities, including flu shots. For registered UPMC Health Plan participants, fitness and wellness challenges and medication management services also are available.

Year-round wellness offerings include:

  • Various webinars, events and wellness campaigns covering personal health, financial wellness and professional wellness.

  • UPMC MyHealth@Work Center, an onsite Health and Wellness Center that can treat a wide range of health issues. Faculty and staff can schedule in-person appointments at the Medical Arts Building or virtual visits through UPMC AnywhereCare.

  • Life Solutions, Pitt’s faculty and staff assistance program that provides various services to employees and their household members. Personalized care and counseling services, 24-hour crisis support, online resources and more are offered at no cost

  • Active&Fit Direct program offers UPMC Health Plan members access to local and national fitness centers and on-demand fitness video classes for $25 a month. UPMC Health Plan members also have access to additional targeted health improvement programs, health coaching and preventative health screenings

“The University reviews its benefit offerings on a regular basis to ensure that our employees have the best care available to them,” Dwyer said. “The University, in partnership with UPMC Health Plan, offers wellness incentives to encourage employees to take better care of themselves and their families.”

Caroline Bielen is a student writer for the University Times.


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