These Innovative Eco-Gyms Bring The Outdoors Inside

Biofit designs indoor gyms that bring in the outdoors. With eco-conscious materials such as bamboo, nontoxic paint, and tons of plants throughout their workout spaces, these gyms are unlike most you may have seen.


May 23 2019, Updated 5:38 a.m. ET

The concept of biophilic design blends together indoor and outdoor aspects in an urban setting. While it’s usually found in office buildings, hotels, or retail stores, now there’s a company that helps gyms embrace this earthy vibe. Biofit, which adopted its name from the “Biophilia” concept, incorporates the textures, colors, scents, and sounds of nature in their gym designs. 

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As design specialists, the team offers creative direction for training facilities. During the design process, they help bring together ideas for elements such as flooring, lighting, decor, and plant selection. The result is a health focused design which includes special fitness equipment.

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This unique concept first came to life when Biofit’s founder, Matt Aspiotis Morley, began taking his fitness routine outdoors. As he incorporated more bodyweight sessions and started to leave behind complicated equipment, he realized that there weren’t any indoor gyms which heavily incorporate nature into their core offerings and design. With a background in real estate development and hospitality, the goal of designing biophilic gyms became the natural next step in Morley’s career.

To design these spaces, the Biofit team takes a mindful approach to create a fully immersive organic workout experience. They use non-VOC or non-toxic materials to incorporate as much natural greenery and visuals into the decor as possible. From the air humidity levels to the acoustic music playlists, every detail is thought through. 

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To purify indoor air through forest aromatherapy, Biofit brings in plenty of greenery. Oxygenating and indigenous plants are scattered throughout the facilities to maintain peak air quality. Not a lot of light available in a space? Cue the preserved moss. 

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The idea behind the gym is to bring nature in, so it makes sense that Biofit only uses workout equipment that has a natural feel. The equipment is composed of materials including wood, leather, rubber, canvas, and bamboo to align with the biophilic experience.

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While the workouts generally focus on bodyweight training, the facilities often include items such as sandbags, beams, ropes, balls, weights, and bars sourced from hand-picked sustainable suppliers. For gym goers more into working up a cardio sweat, the Biofit team also includes treadmills, bikes, and rowing machines. 

What Biofit doesn’t offer is loads of TV screens or complicated machinery. To keep in step with the biophilic design, gadgets and hi-tech items are left at the door, so that the gym can be free of modern-day distractions. Instead, the overall approach involves fitness classes with a wide variety of movement, strength, and stamina, which can range in intensity. 

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The goal of this fitness regime is to help people become workout generalists who can use their body for anything and not become hamsters on a wheel. In addition to feeling less stressed in this natural environment, the aim is to push people beyond old workout habits and think differently. 

Biofit claims that their “nature-inspired and health-oriented interior design” approach helps people feel better and stronger. The team also points to industry leaders such as Google, Amazon, and Apple, which have already embraced biophilic principles in their workplaces.

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