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Walmart invests US$225m in state-of-the-art corporate wellness centre

By Kath Hudson    16 Jan 2024
The building was designed by Duda Paine Architects / Walmart
Walmart has launched a vast corporate health and wellbeing centre for its associates and their families
Staff can bring up to 26 people from their household to use the facilities
The center was opened by Alice Walton, daughter of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton and the second richest woman in the world
Facilities have been provided for fitness, sport, dance, cycling, jogging/walking and meditation, while nutrition, recovery and mental health are also supported

The Walton family, owner of US supermarket chain, Walmart, has opened the doors to a new corporate health, fitness and wellness centre at the company's Bentonville campus.

The Walton Family Whole Health and Fitness and Children’s Enrichment Center by Duda Paine Architects, represents a significant investment in the health of Walmart employees.

The fitness centre runs to 360,000sq ft, while the children's centre covers 73,000sq ft.

According to Alice Walton – daughter of Walmart founders Sam and Helen Walton, and second richest woman in the world – the centre has been designed to support physical, emotional and mental wellbeing: “Providing associates with easy access to offerings that enhance their health and wellbeing is an essential element of whole health," she said. "Our family is delighted to provide the support for these innovative resources.”

Available to both employees and their families – spouses and any dependents up to 26 in the same household – it's estimated the centre will benefit 30,000 people in the community.

The facility has been designed following feedback from staff and include a free-weight room, boxing studios, treadmills, functional training space, two large studios for classes and a separate space for dance programming, such as barre. There are also meditation rooms with massage chairs and meditation gardens and recovery services, including a cryo blast chamber.

The centre has three swimming pools – two lap pools and a recreation pool – as well as basketball, racquetball and squash courts, indoor and outdoor tennis and pickleball courts and an indoor walking/jogging track and soccer area.

Healthy dining options – including takeway dinners – are available, as well as a nutrition kitchen where members can get cooking lessons, There's are also education and connection spaces and doula services.

Membership is deducted from’ paychecks on a twice monthly basis and costs US$12 for an individual and US$21 for a family membership. Some of the services including access to dieticians, while massages cost extra. Services offered for free include therapy and mental health coaching sessions.

The Walton Family Holdings Trust is reported to have invested US$225m in the facility, according to the Northwest Arkansas-Democrat Gazette. The buildings have been designed with natural elements such as wood, metal and rock to allow for as much natural light as possible and gives views of the 350-acre campus, which includes a biking trail.

The new centre replaces the Walton Life Fitness Center, which was gifted to the company by the Walton Family 40 years ago and closed in December. Director at Walton Family Whole Health and Fitness, Megan Henley, says: “This is a great gift from the Walton family that’s going to take care of us and our families for all the years that they’re with the company.”

Alice Walton has a history of investing in wellness and having announced the founding of the Whole Health Institute and Chopra Medical Library in 2019 and the Whole Health School of Medicine and Health Sciences in 2021.

The center – also in Bentonville – is dedicated to working to improve health in the region and around the state with "impacts that will also be felt across the nation", said Walton.

The Walton Family Whole Health and Fitness Centre has been designed using natural materials / Walmart
Healthy cooking classes will be on offer / Walmart
Extensive workout facilities are on offer / Walmart
The yoga studio: mental wellbeing is as important as physical / Walmart
The free weights training area / Walmart
The children's pool and lap pool / Walmart
Walmart  Alice Walton  Walton Family  Walton Family Whole Health & Fitness and Children’s Enrichment Center  holistic health  mental wellbeing 
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