fitDEGREE: Connecting Students on Campus

Finding motivation to workout can be tough, especially for college students when there are a plethora of other fun activities to choose from on campus. Research has shown that there are numerous benefits to working out with a partner. Having a workout buddy not only helps motivate you to go to the gym, but it also adds a level of competition to your workout, which might cause you to push a little harder.

As a student staff member at the Recreation Center at Rowan University, Nick Dennis was tasked with the job of getting more students through the doors of the facility. “All the staff is trained a week before classes start and one of the questions they asked was how we could get more foot traffic throughout the facility,” said Dennis. “I noticed from my own experience that it is always easier to workout when you are doing it with someone. So, we just needed a way for Rowan students to find a workout partner.”

Screen Shot 2016-03-17 at 9.52.58 AMThis sparked an idea. Dennis suggested the recreation center make its own app — fitDEGREE — that helps connect Rowan students throughout campus. Since he did not have a technology background, he brought the concept to a computer science class, where they started to develop the app. However, soon they realized they wanted to expand the app beyond Rowan, so they created the concept of a fitSpot.

“The app helps users find a fitness partner in what we are calling fitSpots, which is your location,” explained Dennis. “It could be your campus, your local gym, your corporate firm’s gym or wherever you are working out. The biggest issue I found with current apps that help you find a workout partner is that they are based off mileage. So I could find out that you want to lift weights and you are 12 miles away, but it doesn’t do me any good if we don’t belong to the same facility and can’t access the same equipment.”

According to Dennis, fitDEGREE will help campus recreation centers connect students and in turn develop a greater sense of community within the facility. “The benefits for a rec center is that they really believe in engaging their students and part of doing that is creating a strong community,” he said. “There is nothing better than walking into a gym and everyone is friendly with each other. You don’t like doing the work, but you can like the people you workout with and be excited by that.”

fitDEGREE will officially be launching this spring, so keep an eye out for it in the App Store and Google Play store. Spread the word to students, so they understand this is available to them and the benefits it can have.

Emily Harbourne was a previous editor for Campus Rec Magazine.

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